Lost in writing the blog post for day 2, I looked up from my computer to find that it was already 10pm. Worried that I would somehow miss my 1:00am flight to Charles de Gaulle, I quickly gathered my things, did a quick check of the room to see if I had left anything behind, and made my way to the front desk to meet Magnus.
The first thing that Magnus said to me was, “I like your skateboard,” after his mother greeted me at the door of the A-10 Deluxe Bed and Breakfast. After returning from the day’s excursion to Reykjavik, I talked to Magnus more at length and found out that he has spent quite a bit of time living abroad, not only in the US, but Denmark as well. Only 30, he has lived in New York for four years and Denver for a few months.
“There are so many temptations,” referring to New York. “You’re always worrying about money. It’s very expensive living there. I had some relationships as well, but it’s NY and nothing lasts long. Furthermore, there are also a lot of homeless people that you become indifferent to in order to function. Overtime, the stress and the subsequent numbing of your emotions changes you as a person. I like the mountains of Denver more.”
Made sense. He told me that he owned a small travel business, a website that he had set up for people to go on tours in Iceland. “It’s very low-maintenance. When someone books a tour, a portion of that money goes to me. It’s really nice when I’m traveling and running low on money and I check my bank account and realize that someone has booked a tour.” That is a good deal, I thought to myself.
After we talked, he offered to turn on the hot tub for me which I greatly appreciated later. I hadn’t expected Iceland to be as cold as it was, nor did I plan on it raining as much as it had. It has been nice for reading and writing. You can’t really have the same peace of mind staying inside and relaxing when it’s really nice out.
He offered to drive me back to the airport later that night, but when I rang the bell at the front desk around 10pm, he, nor anyone else working at the hotel was anywhere to be found. Worried, I left my room key in the door as I had seen others do and stepped out into the night.
Slightly worried that I would be late for my flight, I stuck out my thumb and continued to make my way down Adalgata St. The glow-and-the-dark penny board beneath my feet shown brilliantly. I couldn’t tell if having a skateboard made me look more like a bum, so I did my best to look put together and conceal it when cars approached.
Less than ten minutes after starting, a car coming from the opposite direction that I had pegged as a no-go stopped half a block down the road and reversed quickly towards. His name was Alexis, and he worked at the airport 15 days a month making, more than people who work full-time for minimum wage. It turns out that we were the same age, and it surprised me when he said that he had two kids, a boy and a girl both less than a year-old each. They also had different mothers. How opposite our lives were, I thought.
I thanked him as he pulled into the drop-off area at Keflavik. “I wasn’t going to let you walk, he said to me.” Before the car door closed, I told him that I had this blog and I would be writing about him. “I’ll be writing about everyone I meet, you too for giving me a lift!” He smiled and said, “Do you know about tripadvisor? You should write about me on there!”
A red eatery and a blue one faced each other in Keflavik’s waiting area with all of it’s tax-free shops and food establishments. I went for the red one because it reminded me of The Matrix (I later found out that the blue one was actually an expensive restaurant with a full bar). The last things I had consumed were those two cups of tea and bowl of dried corn flakes.
The two employees at the checkout must have thought I was delirious from the amount of time it took me to decide on what to eat. In my defense they had at least 20 different kinds of pre-made sandwiches. I spent $14 on one with egg, lettuce, and red peppers and a pre-packaged container of veggies and dip. I am sure that I would get used to the currency in Iceland if I were to spend a couple more days there, but it still freaks me out when I hear a number in the thousands for something as small as a coffee.
Something totally primal took over as the sandwich wrapper came off. I caught a whiff of egg (of all things) and felt greedy and indulgent, even though there was no one near me who would have cared even a little. I even felt myself feeling nervous as I left my small bounty on the table to go back through the line to get a glass of water. Oh my God is sleep crucial! I blame my thoughts and actions all on that. My moment with food reminded me of the finger-licking-Lays woman from before.
Weird things happen when you’re sleep deprived. I woke up fitfully after 20 minutes of deep sleep, jolting back to reality, my heart racing and face hot. Even now I can’t seem to catch my breath, like my body is both shutting down and going into high alert mode. How is that possible? This must be the end. And how is it that I haven’t missed a flight or lost one of the many important, extremely-hard-to-replace documents on my person? If I don’t get any sleep in the next few hours, I’ll most likely turn up on French news evading the police on foot, naked, and yelling that I’m Walter Mitty.