I'm an avid reader of IR and am about to head back to the US today after spending another New Year's in Reykjavík. Before I left, however, I wanted to share the following tale that I think sums up why I'm so nuts about Iceland and its people.
Earlier this week my girlfriend and I were at the Café Paris when we discovered her passport case was missing. Yep, you guessed it, it had everything of value in it—passport, credit cards, American driver's license, 3,000 ISK [USD 48, EUR 33]—the works. We re-re-re-retraced our steps between the Radisson Saga hotel and Café Paris a zillion times in a vain attempt to find it. Thanks to this obsessing reconnoiter we now intimately know every brick along the sidewalk girdling the Tjörn (the Reykjavík pond) as well as a fair number of trash cans, back alleys as well as the odd duck.
But no wallet.
Resigned to a sucky end to our remaining vacation we filed the obligatory police report and appeared at the US Embassy where a couple of posted guards smoked cigarettes and profiled us against my country's ever growing "bad guy" list (given my country's current buffonery on the world stage at the moment, I'm half tempted to defect).
Anyway, back to the action: we were planning our next set of tactical moves (read: find a place that does passport photos) when we received a call from the police station that the wallet had been turned in. Relief was followed by a realistic assumption we'd find it trashed, or at least the 3,000 ISK gone.
Wrong and wrong on both fronts. The wallet was turned in completely intact with not a single ISK missing.
Maybe good samaritanship is baked into the average Icelander's DNA and this happens everyday, but it's a rarity where I come from. Instead of going the sucky route, this episode became the perfect postscript to a wonderful trip.
I want to say thank you to the person(s) responsible for finding and turning in the wallet.
Doug Simonton, USA
P.S. Here is a video about my trip to Iceland.