Riders on a storm, gagnam style


Nice street art in Reykjavík, Iceland

An old-fashioned storm of 48 hours hit Iceland during Iceland Airwaves. People were clinging to lamp posts, the waves of the ocean even reached Saebraut, the road next to it … I literally got blown off my feet a few times and missed out on a bunch of bands I really wanted to see (sóley, Sin Fang, Bárujárn, Borko …). My dress flew in every possible direction. It must have been a very funny sight when my friend Cécil took my dress together and pulled me to town. A premature bride and a funny bridesmaid … I was lucky one night that there were no cars in the street. I was forced to run when I came back from Harpa, a venue in the harbour, and couldn’t stop for traffic lights.

Yet the weather brought out the best in everyone. People were helping each other out wherever and whenever they could. Once I was stuck, blown against a car and I couldn’t move at all thanks to the wind, when a strong Icelander came up to me and chaperoned me inside KEX, where we wanted to go and see Ghostigital. Whoever you were, takk kaerlega fyrir.

Experiencing such a storm made me realise how I love this weather. The wind gently kissing your cheeks while it howls through the city. I kind of forgot how great it is to walk outside, clear your head and then go inside again and snuggle up with a nice cup of tea, gradually warming up.

It made it the best Airwaves in a couple of years. But not only that. I also enjoyed it cause I met so many great people from everywhere in the world. Old friends, new people, sharing a couple of passions: Iceland, music, living the good life. We had lovely conversations about it all, about philosophy, life in general … It’s kinda funny to see all our Facebookstatuses when we are back to reality: it’s all about missing Iceland and missing each other.

I have seen some really good bands. My favourite was HAM. I had had a glass of wine, Sólstafir did a really good show right before them (with Heida doing private backing vocals to someone -GREAT), was head banging the whole time. I got into the zone and enjoyed every second of it. Mugison afterwards was really good too. Other really good bands were Ghostigital (of course), Hellvar, Mordingjarnir … Discoveries included Dream Central Station, Boogie Trouble, Croisztans, Samaris and Kiriyama Family

One big disappointment though: Sigur Rós. They played at Laugarsdallhöll, a very big venue. Musically it wasn’t bad, but I just couldn’t experience it the way I should have. I was quite far from the stage and I only saw the heads of the thousands of people in front of me. The band had amazing visuals, but I couldn’t see it at all. They had already gotten me in a pretty bad mood. We were told it started at seven, so we were there at half past six. At seven some kind of eerie elevator music started playing and they had us wait until eight. Which came across as utterly disrespectful. So I never got into the mood and as many people did, we walked out early to see some friends play. Which was much better.

I spent two days in Copenhagen on my way back to Belgium. I definitely want to go there again. It was really good meeting my friend Alexandra again. Copenhagen is a cycle and kebab and multicolourhouse city. Rush hour mainly takes place on cycling paths. My favourite part was multicultural Norrebro, with all the cute vintage and antique shops. We visited the squat village of Kristiania, which was special as they have a green light area where you can buy marihuana just like that. We saw some really scary Greenlanders. I always find them scary, but it’s worse when they are high.

The taxi drivers around there are true philosophers by the way. The first one was discussing world politics and economy with me, the second one stated Islam is not a religion, but an ideology, the third one next to and the perfect alternative for capitalism and communism. Islam is better because it comes from God. I couldn’t resist asking annoying questions, of course. How to fit in the concept of atheism in that kind of society puzzled him a bit. But the good news -AHUM- was that women wouldn’t be able to have sex without being married first, so that we won’t be throw away sex objects no longer. I was a bit shocked after this drive, but then again I wasn’t surprised this happened in Copenhagen reminding the uproar after the Mohammed cartoons.

 

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