Sunday, August 16, 2009

ICELAND SAGA: The Aftermath of a Runtur and the Status of Our Lost Luggage

Runtur: An Icelandic pub crawl, to be short.  On Friday and Saturday nights, cafes by day become bars; bars that normally close at 1 a.m. keep the beer flowing until 3 a.m., and the 3 a.m. establishments stay open until 5 a.m. (with people still in them).  If you recall from the last post, on our first Friday night in Reykjavik Joe and I went to Cafe Paris at 11:30.  Know here and now that we couldn't make it past 1:00 before pooping out.  We said we wanted to experience the runtur, but also didn't want to sleep the trip away.  That's what I told myself as I fought back yawns at the bar anyway.  On Saturday morning we left the hotel at 8:30 to go somewhere for coffee and wandered around until 9:00 trying to find a cafe that was open.  Until stumbling upon a chain cafe (it was obvious), we had only seen signs stating that the cafes we actually wanted to go to didn't open until 11 a.m. at the earliest...on a the capital of the country.  Reykjavik did seem oddly lifeless as we roamed the streets, save a handful of other tourists and the street cleaners that drove up and down the streets and sidewalks ridding the city of runtur litter.  It didn't look as bad as St. Patrick's Day in Dogtown, but it's safe to say it was a stone's throw.  We would end up seeing the same scenario on Sunday morning, too, which made me wonder how much money the city spends on street upkeep every year.  

After coffee we went back to the Salvation Army Guesthouse so we could call the airport regarding the status of our luggage, which we still had not received.  We had been wearing the same clothes for over 36 hours, and I was ready for a new shirt and fresh underwear, not to mention some socks for the used, unwashed tennis shoes I was still wearing.  When we had left the airport the previous morning the nice man at the baggage service counter had handed me two travel kits and told me they were for us to survive on until we got our belongings back. Each one contained a mini bottle of "cleansing milk" that I suppose was intended to double as shampoo and body wash--which never works with my hair--and mini bottles of moisturizer, shaving cream (accompanied by a razor) and tooth paste (with matching tooth brush).  They also came with mini deodorants that smelled like cheap men's cologne and a plain white tshirt, size XL.  I was ready to get my stuff back.  I will say that when I called Keflavik a human being picked up the telephone right away, and it was the exact person I needed to speak to for answers.  Supposedly we would be getting our bags delivered to us by 10:00 that very morning. Huzzah!  No more passing the concierge's counter with sad puppy dog faces asking if any backpacks had been delivered with only a confused look for a response!  Sigh of relief.

The satisfaction of putting on fresh clothes was, in a word, joyous.

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