Asked about the winter in Iceland, I frequently told locals that I didn’t particularly enjoy the darkness, but I had really wished somebody had ploughed or shovelled.
I was told very forcefully that the streets in Iceland are well-ploughed and that I must have been imagining things.
Today, it has rained and the rain has frozen. This has covered the never-ploughed snow with a sheet of ice. Everywhere. While there is the possibility that Hringbraut, the main road around the country, was ploughed, I do not believe in the slightest that more than four walkways were shovelled, or that anybody made any attempt on a driveway.
This hasn’t been as much of a problem for me this year, because this year I have a car and a gym membership. Last year, I was attempting to walk to classes or do small errands. Moving slowly across slick icy sidewalks, I could never take a full step, or I would find myself on my back.
The walks were so incredibly hazardous, that I remember once seeing an old lady step out of her house and wanting to apologize to the lady for the danger she was about to encounter. (She very very slowly began her errand.)
In the winter last year, ten-minute errands took half an hour or more. And a moment of impatience resulted in bruised hips and thighs.
I have more credibility now. And I can point outside when I say “You guys really should be used to ice by now.”
A conversation last night put it all in perspective, as I was walking to the local video store… very very slowly.
“You know, in America, if you don’t shovel your walk, they won’t deliver your mail.”
“That would never work in Iceland,” my friend said. “People here need their mail.” BC [email protected]