How Cold is It?


The first thing I was looking forward to on getting on the plane to Iceland was never again hearing the question: “So, how cold is it in Iceland?”

As a foreigner in Reykjavík, I had developed an allergy to the local joke “How do you like Iceland?” I forgot that people worldwide are capable of inane, repetitive questions.

I began to count how many times people would ask “How cold is it in Iceland?” I love my sister and her husband, but in one dinner they asked the question three times, every time sincerely. This in Racine Wisconsin, where the temperature was 30 below zero Fahrenheit. (35 below zero Celsius.)

At a party in New York City, I kept a tab on my napkin and had a twelve count in three hours.

It’s simply a question people must ask twice.

The main reason is because my answer was always “Not that cold.” And I think everybody disagreed. They simply keep asking until they get an answer they agree with.

The other frequent question, “How do you deal with the darkness?” was usually only asked once. The I-very-seriously-contemplate-suicide answer was effective.

But I am back in Iceland, and the darkness of course isn’t that bad. And the first question on returning: “How cold was it in Wisconsin?” Right now, it’s been asked six times. I’ve been at work for two hours. BC [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.