Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh please

I hope someone out there looks forward to reading my erratic posts here on murderiseverywhere although I must admit that the quality and interest level of my blog mates posts usually make me feel a bit small. But if such a person exists then I must apologize for how brief I must be this time around as I am once again going on a trip – this time to Lissabon and although it is only for three days it will be followed by a two week family vacation. To where I will tell you in a bit.

The reason I am holding back the location is only so as not to put too many geographic names in all at once as I also need to mention another country which relates to my lack of time for this post. This country is named Bhutan and in situated in the Himalayas. My company is working on a bid for the design of a hydropower plant there in which I have been involved and as a result had to work late hours. If we win the work I will not however be going to Bhutan, even for a visit as I asked my CV be removed from the staff proposed.

Why? Bhutan is idyllic and beautiful so work there for the odd month might sound really good fun. And it did, until I remembered a fellow Icelandic crime writer (Ragnar Jonsson) who managed to visit the country despite there being an annual limit of 2500 tourists allowed to go there. When describing the place Ragnar mentioned that smoking was illegal in Bhutan and having recalled this I googled it and found out this is really the case. In fact they just sentenced a guy to 3 years in prison for smoking. This guy was a monk – probably still is – which somehow makes it all the more stranger and harsh. Might explain the location of the monestaries though. They have also trained a league of dogs to sniff out smokers. So anyway, to each his own and for me this meant bye bye Bhutan, you could not drag me over that border.

Smoking and drinking have been a lot in the media in Iceland these days. Our parliament seems to have run out of things to do and some of its members are about to try to pass a law making the sale of cigarettes illegal except under doctor’s advice and a receipt. I can’t go into the specifics because I get so upset but what I can tell you about is another similarly looney idea to ban the sight of alcohol. This means that in a bar all bottles must be hidden from view, as well as in the government wine shops (alcohol and wine is only sold in government shops). Wine could not be identified by label or producer in a wine list and so on. So I guess if you want to buy something alcoholic you had better have a very firm idea of what you want before ordering or asking the clerk to get it for you in the wine shop.

The lesson from this to me is the following. People in power often have the tendency to become totalitarian. They start to believe that they know better and that we the masses need constant guiding like children. It begins in a small way – I remember when they banned the sight of cigarettes in stores, something that is really not that bad since smokers know their brand and don’t need to see the pack prior to a purchase. Wine is another matter. You might want a glass of this today and a glass of that next week. It usually involves a choice where you want to see or know what is available.

So it starts with cigarettes and most people couldn’t care less, but then it creeps up on to the next thing. In our case wine and then what? Coffee? Candy? The pharmacies and the doctors will be busy in future I guess.

But I don’t think these two bills will pass. I am not particularly worried about it for that reason, what worries me the most is how stupid people can be that think they are smart and well versed.

Back to more fun stuff. Now that I am annoyed with Iceland and its politicians I am going to post this blog and immediately arrange our tickets for the holiday I mentioned. It really can’t wait since I am leaving in the middle of the night fast approaching and my family will be joining me on Sunday. There is not a doubt in my mind that it will be great, I know this for a fact after reading Tim’s posts. They have been so captivating and the people in the photos so beautiful and kind looking that we have decided to go to Thailand. Exactly where I do not know yet but will soon.

Icelandic politicians, if you are reading this and happen to be going to Thailand as well please don’t talk to me if you pass me on the street.

But who knows Tim – maybe I will see you there?

Yrsa – Wednesday


  1. Yrsa, the United States tried the no-alcohol thing and it was completely disastrous. The smuggling of alcohol from Canada gave rise to the various Mafia families. There was plenty of alcohol available but it now had to be purchased from some group that killed people who were business rivals.

    One family did manage to get very rich while keeping their reputation intact. Joseph P. Kennedy managed to get a contract with one of the producers of whiskey in Scotland. When Prohibition was repealed, the only one who could bring that brand into the US was Kennedy. The whiskey connection gave him the money to buy the presidency for his son, Jack, and it tied him to one of the mob families in Chicago. A lot of people think that the Chicago mob owed Joe a favor and arranged for Chicago's votes to be altered in Jack's favor.

    Maybe yes, maybe no, but no one doubts that Joe Kennedy was capable of making a deal with the devil.

    What a trip for the family to enjoy!! There will be years of memories from that adventure.


  2. Interesting word choice for a defense of smoking piece:"you could not DRAG me over that border." Glad to see that pending Icelandic legislation has not chilled your sense of humor.

    Enjoy Thailand where I'm certain smoking and drinking aren't at risk of making any endangered species list.


  3. At least Iceland is not as bad as Denmark where they tried to ban Marmite. They had to call in Sara Lund to quell the riots.