Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Leaving Iceland

7:00 – wake up to the alarm

7:30 – check out of the hostel

8:00 – walk to the BSI bus terminal

8:30 – arrive at the bus terminal to be told you just missed it – but the next one will be by at...

9:30 – board the bus to KEF, and watch the landscape go by for, possibly, the last time (It looks a lot like Newfoundland – small houses, down by the ocean, built on rock.)

10:10 – check in and set my bags on course for Helsinki

10:20 – realize the 341ISK I still have left is useless. Even a Hot Wheels car costs 499.

10:25 – start the long hike to the terminal, watching the staff go by on scooters (stopping only once to check out the amazing 66 degree North ads for the last time.)

11:00 – pass out on a bench, using carry on as most uncomfortable pillow ever

11:20 – wake up, freak out, see time, calm, set alarm, pass out

12:30 – wake up to the alarm, see someone from hostel on same flight, look over Europe on a Shoestring and try to find how to get to Helsinki hostel from airport (with limited success.)

12:45 – board aircraft (it is confirmed I am in business class. My seats are nicer, my laptop has a universal power plug ready for it – that at the moment is cutting in and out, strangely – and all the people around me are texting on Black Berries, or being old and snooty with the oversized papers obnoxiously unfolded. I will miss this proverbial high life. Or, in this case, is it literal? - I'm sorry.)

1:37 – I have nothing but time now. Two and a half hours on the plane, with a laptop, and a copy of Short List (the magazine for men with more than one thing on their mind.) I wish it was a Sky Mall – because I would have plenty of material to mock there – but no, short list will have to suffice. You may want to skip the next few pages of text, as it may rot your brain as much as it has rotted mine. Just for your information, I'm trying once more to watch Live Free, Die Hard.

Short List
Les us flip open short list, and skip to their top 10 lists. Their totally un-researched lists that I disagree with most intensely. Shall we explore this one together? I think that would be a most delightful exercise.

The Least Terrifying Film Villains and Ghouls
1. Jareth the Golbin King. Look, I'm sorry – but there really are few things more terrifying than David Bowie's groin, hardly contained within his ultra tight silver pants. Goblin king or not, that image alone would haunt whomever saw him. Add baby stealing to his rap, and he is not such a good egg.

2. Zombies (Any Movie) – and I quote this now, before I get to my rage, “We're filmmakers and we want to create the scariest movie monster possible, so let's make them slow, stupid, and so loud you can hear them coming. Rubbish. Just walk briskly and you'll be fine.” Can we explore this a little bit? First off, they specify any movie. There are a number of videos with terrifyingly fast zombies that you can not avoid. But even the small ones, in large numbers, always gang up. And the horror of having to kill your own wife, children, friends, and family – that's not terrifying to you people at Short List? And furthermore, everyone who dies comes back. Even if you manage to live, eventually you become one. Really wrap your mind about zombies and you'll see they are the most terrifying thing imaginable.

3. The Blob – alright, fair enough.

4. Simon Gruber – this is true too. After the first Gruber Simon is a chump. Maybe the good people are on to something.

5. Triffids – o.k. look, i get it, they're plants. But they're plants that made the whole world blind, did they not? That's not power?

6. Goldfinger – M'eh this one is hit or miss, but he's not supposed to be terrifying. This would be like saying those Martians from the Muppet's Movie were the least terrifying villains. This guy was never trying. It's not wrong, as much as it's just lazy.

7. Jabba the Hutt – Come on! This is the leader of an international crime syndicate. This is a guy who had the sister of a Jedi Knight as a sexual slave – amongst other such things. This is a guy who turned Darth Vader's robots into his personal servants. THIS is a guy that capture Han Solo. How is he not terrifying? He almost killed Skywalker, allowing for a reign of terror across the galaxy. Put some thought into this people.

8. The Joker – that's it. I'm done here. Do I never need to explain why the Joker is terrifying? If we're keeping to movie, then – The Dark Knight? That was pure terror. And if we go to comic books... he rapes, and then paralyzed Bat Girl while taking pictures all the while, to show her father (the police commissioner.) I don't understand how they can even think of adding him to this list. He's not scary because his makeup looks more like an “alcoholic grandmother”? That's hardly valid – because an alcoholic grandmother would, likewise, be terrifying! “Give us a kiss sonny boy!” and then there's tongue.

9. Mr Pink – Aww, leave Steve Buscemi alone. He tries hard. It's not his fault he's so neurotic.

10. Mummies (various films) – Alright, this is true, but how often are they villains, and how often are they creatures of circumstances? Think of the recent Mummy movies. Was he really a villain? People woke him up and robbed him. All he wanted was his girlfriend back – whom he was murdered for loving. He's more of a tragic character than a villain.

That is all. Back to Die Hard now. Ohh lunch!

A new list! This one talks about monsters, and is mostly alright, except for, in my opinion, where they rip on The Balrog from Lord of the Rings. Look, I don't love Lord of the Rings, I actually find is quite trying, but I do find facts important. It's stated here that “it can be beaten by an old man who looks like a roadie who sorts it out with his walking stick. It fell off a bridge – the Balrog was clearly an idiot.”

First off, the Balrog was not beaten by an old man. Gandolf is not, and never was, a man. Gandolf is as old, if not older than the Elves. And he did not use a walking stick. It was one of only six (I think?) wands to make their way across to Middleearth. As for falling off a bridge – that didn't kill the Balrog. Gandolf and the Balrog battled for weeks after that fall.

I know I just nerded out a lot, especially for someone who only happened to read a wikipedia entry a few weeks ago, but still – disinformation serves no one.

This list does reclaim itself by listing the tenth monster as Margaret Thatcher, and claiming that she “had a similar effect on cities as Godzilla” though.

Man this Kung Fu chick in Die Hard doesn't quit. Good thing she's a chump and doesn't confirm her kills, otherwise America would be truly doomed.

4:17 – whoops, time zome change

6:17 - arrived in Copenhagen (which does not have any double letters, regardless of how many times I think that it should.) I was told that my baggage was checked all the way through to Helsinki, and that since I had a boarding pass I did not need to go to the transfer centre. I find it a little disconcerting to put my trust in a system notorious for losing baggage, especially when – once again – I forgot to keep my extra set of clothes in my carry on. One and a half more hours until my plane boards, and then even more until it finally leaves. I wonder if I'll still be in business class, or kicked back with the peasants (oh how fast we adapt.) On another note – the washrooms in Copenhagen Airport smell of urine, as the urinals do not flush, they simply let gravity do the work for them. Environmentally friendly and cost efficient? Sure – if you want peoples first impression of your country to be “Wow, it really smells like urine here.” Luckily my first impression was based off of a green roofed castle built against a pond that I saw while flying in. I'd love to know what it was. There was also a huge bridge that led to nowhere – the middle of the ocean. I'll have to google map that and investigate. There was also a tiny (actually rather large) island with one house on it, and a boat headed towards it. I'd like to know more of that as well.

6:25 – regret not bringing my battery charger in my carry on to juice up the Aas. began, once more, to read my book (Unlikely Destinations – for those whom are curious.)

8:20 – Flight takes off. Gone, it seems, are my spacious seats off to join the masses then, on the Scandinavian Airlines section of my flight. Or perhaps not. No one being beside me gives me ample room.

8:50 - It seems there is yet another perk. No one behind me has any food brought to them, while myself and those in front of me are fed. Interesting.

10:35 – We have jumped ahead another hour due to time zones. No wonder the short flight wouldn't get me in until so late.

10:45 – Luggage in hand, and no customs to clear, I decide that being in a new country well past dark is too terrifying for me to wing along (I am not that well travelled yet, you see. Perhaps I'll look back on this and scold myself.) I take the cab from the airport with two others.

10:50 – six more people crowd in filling all seats, and overflowing the luggage hold. I secure three bags, lest they fall on me with every left turn. With every right turn I'm tempted to leg go, crushing the person beside me, if she's not as valiant as I. I do not.

12:00 - I check into the hotel They are two person rooms, and come with a large locking closet. However, what it doesn't come with is free Wi-Fi. I could purchase it for 15 euros, but – instead – I'll see if I can't find it for free somewhere. This could really mess up my game. 15 euros for four days of internet may not sound like much, but it's a good meal – or three days of meals the way I foolishly eat when I travel. Something to think about.

12:30 – not really tired, but aware that I should sleep if I want to explore tomorrow, I tuck in for the night. I'd love to see the boats in the harbour that I passed on the way here.

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