Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh dear

I am in a sour mood. Not surprising considering I have been invited to attend 2 Þorrablóts, exactly one year ago translated in a separate blog on the issue as: the Feast of Disgusting Food. Two weekends in a row I will enjoy the aroma and enticing taste of fermented animal parts that are usually not on any menu, left out for marketing reasons related to their lack of appetizing appearance (heads) or former function (testicles).

One of the parties is held at my firm for our largest clients, the opportunity to hobnob with those who pay for our work over rotten shark oddly enough not coming along too often. The other is held by a group of people originating from the area where I based my latest book, the ghost story taking place in the abandoned town in the remote Westfjords of Iceland. Both parties will of course be fun, aside from the cuisine these events tend to be enjoyable – as soon as your nose has clogged up. This turning point is in Icelandic referred to as "becoming one with the smell" and although you breathe more freely it is with the knowledge that every grain of your body and every particle of your clothing, now stink horribly.

There is more sour news from here up north – the election for the constitutional parliament that took place late last year has been deemed illegal, leaving the 25 representatives that were to take seats at the beginning of February out in the cold. Luckily for my candidate - naked ass sailor guy - he did not get voted in so he remains at sea, fishing, possibly still in a state of undress. For one of the oldest republics in the world this High Court ruling or revelation regarding the election is something unacceptable. Turns out that the voting process itself was in so many ways misshapen that a randomly chosen election for third grade class president in any school anywhere, would prove to be more professionally conducted. The blogoshpere and the media are out for blood in their search for culprits but I don‘t personally care much where the blame lies, it is more the crumminess of everything lately that has me worried. Who in their right mind prints traceable, numbered ballots? Uses cardboard semi-partitions placed on desktops to makes election booths? Or transports ballots in open shoeboxes to the counting office? Really? I don't even want to know the names of those responsible.  

One thing did make me smile today and that was an e-mail containing what was said to be the new form for the Icelandic tax return that will soon arrive. It was noted as being much simpler that previous forms and turned out to be just that. There were only three lines to fill out: 1) How much money did you make last year? 2) How much is left? 3) What are your account details so that we can withdraw it? The essence of our now crippling tax system has pretty much been captured, but the process is more appealing that what awaits. By all means, just get it over with and don't punish us unnecessarily with lots of paperwork. We will pay - we know our country needs money.

But at least Iceland is not Tunis or Egypt. I am sure they would swap with us any day, bloody riots for bogus ballots not such a bad deal. Unless the food would turn them off, deliciously spiced couscous for unsavory carcass parts probably won’t cut it.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. This was the first I'd heard of Þorrablóts, so I did a little Google research.

    I really don't know what to say. It makes haggis and Rocky Mountain oysters seem like Wolfgang Puck creations.

    Good luck.

  2. I realize that it is difficult for people to give up those things that define their culture but has no one suggested that a feast that required the eating of chocolate cake would be easier, and more enjoyable, for everyone?

    It certainly says something about the character of the people of Iceland that they honor the past in a manner that everyone must dread.


  3. I think the time has come to declare oneself a vegetarian--or a vegan even. Or to rather politely say that one has an ulcer or other stomach problems requiring a simple diet.

    Have no idea what to say about your tax system, sounds rather awful. How about a Swiss bank account? Or the Cayman Islands?

    The people of Tunisia and Egypt desperately need democratic rights and job, however they express it.

  4. When you brought the pickled shark to Crimefest last year, Yrsa, you described the vile stuff in much more complimentary words. Probably to induce us to try it. Fortunately you also brought brennevin to cauterize our taste buds.