Day 1 of 11: A Nation Knows When Three Know

29 Jun

I have this ongoing debate with a friend of mine; it’s been raging for years. We’re trying to figure out the answer to the age-old question – at what point can you say you’ve visited a country?

You think it’s straightforward, but you’re wrong.

There are many schools of thought on the subject but one thing is clear – a passport stamp is not sufficient (or in some cases even necessary). The most important thing is to partake in the culture of the country in question. Some examples would be, eating the local cuisine, visiting some giant corporate art, being gouged on the price of a postage stamp, experiencing the weather and landscape. For example on my most recent trip to Japan we ate every meal at America Town. We might as well have been in Toronto. Oh, and you have to physically leave the airport / train station / bus depot / ferry terminal / dirigible landing platform / spaceport.

By the definition I have myself created in the previous paragraph I have now visited the country of Iceland. Take that Lemon. What a magical land it is. There are airports as far as the eye can see. And car rental agencies. Many car rental agencies. Check it:

Legend has it that the first Transformer was conceived right here in Iceland.

I was very hungry after my flight.

The world’s first “e-yogurt”

Some of you will be receiving a postcard mailed from this very box.

Most of you will have settle for Visa bills and junkmail from a former Olympian explaining why he’s the best guy to sell your house.

The landscape was amazing!

Check out this vegetation.

And these clouds.

I wonder what they’re made of.

I’ve become so comfortable. This place… it’s like I’ve lived here my whole life

and never bothered to learn the local language.

We have this expression here in Iceland:

A nation knows when three know.

It’s a reference to our tiny airport-based economy and similarly-scaled infrastructure. Well, that and the fact that the population of the entire country numbers in the hundreds. What’s important to know is that us Icelanders are a very private people. We have a private island. A private language.  And when it comes to preventing the spread of personal information it’s clear what needs to be done. The expression leaves no ambiguity – one of the other two people must be eliminated. This may sound a bit extreme but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. With the third person out of the picture, the number of people that “know” will fall below the critical “three” threshold and the remaining individual will fall into line pretty damn fast.

Problem solved.

3 Responses to “Day 1 of 11: A Nation Knows When Three Know”

  1. joanne June 29, 2012 at 19:11 #

    First, you did NOT tell me you were going to Iceland. I would have had requests! Second, one of those postcards better be for me. Third, Iceland is the best place on earth. Fourth, I have already commented on your blog thing, and you are barely gone one day, so “yay” for me!!!

    • Vicki July 4, 2012 at 11:18 #

      I will not “Take that Lemon”!
      Admittedly, I have relaxed my rules on what constitutes a visit to a new country. Where I used to believe you had to stay overnight (not at the airport or train station), I now accept a meal as sufficient.
      A meal or snack (isn’t Skyr the best??!!!) at the airport IS NOT ENOUGH!! However, I think you’ve probably seen enough to understand that a real visit to Iceland is required. It’s awesome, right?!

      • Die Hard Three July 5, 2012 at 00:34 #

        No way! Ten things:
        1. an overnight stay? Why was this even considered a criteria? This would mean if one landed somewhere at 0700 and departed at 2300 (enough time to visit all of Belgium) one would not be allowed to add this country to one’s list? makes no sense.
        2. it was not a snack. Breakfast is a meal and I have the same thing back home every day for breakfast.
        3. I totally left the airport. I didn’t send some pilotless drone out to take those photos. that was me!
        Iceland is on my list baby!
        We’re coming back at Easter (well, I am anyway 🙂

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