So this is January in Iceland. One more colleague has returned from abroad, and once again the communal kitchen is filled with nammi (candy). It’s policy. You go abroad, you buy candy at the Duty Free.
I bought pounds of candy when I returned on January 11th. One thing I liked about giving everyone M&Ms, the most popular choice despite the fact that local chocolate is superior in quality to American chocolate, was that it made for a topic of conversation.
Instead of asking how I liked America, or if I liked the weather, for exactly one day I heard “Takk fyrir nammi.”
Maybe this is what started it, but since I returned, I’ve been eating candy constantly. There is a staggering preponderance of candy shops, where you will see bins of assorted loose chocolates, gummis and liquorice candies that you purchase by weight. In my first year and a half here, I had tried I think four different candies. In my three weeks since my visit home, I have consumed the other thirty prominent candies, including salt bombs, a liquorice salt candy, and other frightening concoctions.
Combined with a bout with the flu, this has led to an overwhelming feeling of cabin fever. I can’t exercise, as I’m sick or recovering. However, I am consuming enough sugar to hit renal failure pretty soon.
One thing about my life as a candy addict: I have good company. Everyone here is chowing down. And I’m making friends. The shoppa, or store owners, know me well. We have discussed candy. They are impressed that I’ll try anything.
The locals seem to approve of my b-line for the candy bin at the 10-11. And, when I’m out of the house, I’m usually light-headed enough from the sugar high, that I come up with pleasant topics of conversation.
All that said, enough is enough. I decided this morning, on ramming a handful of peanut M&Ms into my face, that this simply couldn’t go on. I can’t stop picturing Henry the Fifth and his sad face which bore the consequences of bringing sugar into the English diet.
Again, I think I’m not alone. Coworkers are laughing at how much they have binged in January. The solution, the change for our diet, will be twofold: 1) bolludagur is coming, when we will have our last gasp, a mass of cream-filled buns, a Lutheran take on Carnival, I guess. 2) Thorrablót. The month of Thórri is upon us, the month of rotten shark, rotten skate and soured sheep’s balls.
I have signed on to consume more than my share for a Thorrablót feast. This food will be my penance for a month of sugar. Hell, it will be my penance for anything I’ve ever done wrong in my life. BC [email protected]