Some more emotional outbursts, please… Or not…


strokkurcollageStrokkur, Iceland.


Now and then I endure just a tad difficulty with Americans; those I’ve met, that is – it all turns out so odd. So many emotions, all the time, everywhere. Too many superlatives…
I’m an incredibly rigid Swedish person and I don’t particularly enjoy those public emotional cascades pouring out now and then, most of them completely in the wrong moment, of course.


It makes me feel awkward!


reykjavik4-2-copy-2000View from the Pearl, Reykjavik.




During the flight to Iceland, I experienced (probably for the first time in my life) a small sting of envy of their outbursts… their “Americanism”.

I was watching a whole heap of fun, informational videos about Iceland, and got totally fascinated, so I actually ended up watching the Reykjavik video twice. 🙂

In one of the videos they interviewed an American (amongst others), who had been out watching one of the glaciers. He was ecstatic, his face glowing with happiness, and my heart suddenly ached a tad; I wondered when was the last time I had been glowing like that?

When did I become so blasé?

Not so long ago I wrote a post about Angkor Wat, in which I spoke exactly about this, to become so blasé about all the magic surrounding you in the world, but you can’t even be bothered. The only thing you need to do is open your eyes and look around.


I encouraged people to hit me in the head – real hard – if I ever became that blasé, like the lady in the blog post.


A few months later I wonder if the lady in the post was me… when did my feelings disappear, when did my wonder, of how amazingly beautiful the world is, start to fade away?

reykjavik5-2-copy-2000View over Reykjavik from Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum.


When did most things around me become gray and stop being exuberantly green and yellow and pink and red?


reykjavik7-2-copy-2000Reykjavik in snow, really IS gray, but oh so beautiful…


During the bus ride from the airport in Keflavik to the city of Reykjavik I was almost in tears all the way, because the beauty of the country moved me so much.
I really wanted to bubble like a “crazy American” to vent all of my emotions raging inside of me, grabbing me, making me all jittery, kind of like when you’re in the first stages of love. But oh, no, what would people think if the mad lady in orange hair started to jump around screaming out her spring cry? People might mistake me for an American… 😉

No we can’t have that, so instead I shrugged in feigned indifference, smiling timidly when those back home asked me if Iceland was nice.


“Well, yeah, it’s beautiful!” I managed to roar, all the way from my toes, but no jittering “IT’S AMAZING!!!” or “IT’S SOOOOO GREAT!!!”


Just enough, not too much.


Why would I tell about the long walks I took in the city, which moved me so much I almost cried every day?

Why would I tell about my walk outside of Blue Lagoon on my birthday, shooting the bare landscape which didn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and I have seen a bit (although there’s so much more to see and wonder about!)?

Why would I tell it was the best birthday ever, because I got to celebrate it in a wonderful country where everything was so wonderfully amazing?

Why would I tell how fracking AMAZING Iceland actually was, when there’s simply just no words for it? Beautiful isn’t enough.


Well, wait a minute, now! Isn’t “telling” exactly what I’m doing… a tad more American style then! Finally… 😉


reykjavik6-copy-2000My favourite place in Reykjavik – Hallgrímskirkja.


3 thoughts on “Some more emotional outbursts, please… Or not…

  1. Well, I am an American but I am not open and relaxed unless I am with people that I feel comfortable with like family and friends. However, if I am with family and friends and I am having fun, I really don’t care what other people I don’t know think. I try not to limit or control myself for the sake of what a stranger thinks is right.

    That said, I lived in Iceland from 1993 – 1994. There used to be American military bases on the island and most of them were located near Keflavik. I lived on a small Air Force radar base called “Rockville” because it was located on an endless plain of lava rocks (you should know what I mean since you saw what it looks like). My life there was mostly lonely and boring. However, I tried to get off base whenever I could. I visited Reykjavik, went on trips to see Thingvellir, the Blue Lagoon, geysirs, craters, glaciers and water falls. The two most memorable trips were a trip to the northern most city of Akureyri and a snowmobile tour on the largest glacier, Vatnajokull. I got to meet a few Icelandic people as well but not as many as I would have liked. Before I came to Iceland I was stationed in California and there was an Icelandic man who worked on my base who I found out about from my co-workers. I met with this man and even though I hardly knew him he gave me the phone number for his family in Iceland and told me to call them when I was in Iceland. Well, I was too scared to call them and I really regret that I didn’t. I’m sure that if I had become friends with them my time in Iceland would have been a lot more interesting.

    Iceland is a place of incredible scenic beauty. I would love to go back again as a tourist some time.


    1. Yeah, you seem to avoid my stereotypes pretty much all the time… what’s up with that? 😉

      In my experience the Icelandic people were (are) very open and friendly, and didn’t seem to mind handing out phone numbers to random people they meet on the street, in my case I was pressed to a wall in a tiny elevator when one single mom and her son attacked me, encouraging me to call when I had the time. 🙂 People back home had told me Icelandic people were extremely promiscuous (yeah, I now, the irony of having Swedish people tell you that one!), so the cynic in me thought up all kinds of strange answers to why this very nice and friendly woman wanted to show me parts of her lovely country, so I didn’t call. Sometimes I’m too much of a loner for my own good, but I’m working on that, too. 😛

      So I suppose you got to experience all the seasons then. Akureyri was on my list to go, but this time I simply didn’t have the time, I didn’t expect the country to be that big. I missed out on so much. Anything you could recommend for my next trip? Planning on going next summer, maybe cycle around the country… or maybe just rent a car 🙂


      1. “Yeah, you seem to avoid my stereotypes pretty much all the time… what’s up with that?”

        I’m just different. When I was in Japan, I hung out with my English co-worker a lot and he had a lot of English speaking friends from different countries. He had one Australian friend who told me something like “You don’t act like the other Americans that I’ve met. Usually Americans act like arrogant a**holes.” He told me all sorts of things he didn’t like about Americans and I just kept quiet. I found his attitude kind of creepy and I didn’t really like to be around him. I’m also sure that there are plenty of other Americans out there who aren’t arrogant, loud, obnoxious, etc. In my own case, I would find it very hard to act superior when I’ve been humbled so many times in my own life.

        I’ve heard some stories about Icelandic promiscouity but I have never seen it myself. It seems like most of the stories came from a period of time before I was there. Stories about the women of the country being very interested in all of the young, single American men living on those bases. However, when I was there it felt the country was tired of our presence there. I didn’t know anyone on my base that had Icelandic friends or girlfriends. Few people got off base to experience the nightlife in Reykjavik. Instead, I noticed that the small number of women on our base seemed to be very popular and got lots of dates 😉

        If you plan to go back there again, definitely make a trip to Akureyri. I don’t think that there are that many towns of that size that far north in the world. In fact, if I went back again and I had the time, I would like to travel around the entire island. There are many interesting sights on the East coast that I never got to see. I would also like to visit the interior of the island just to see what it’s like. I heard that it feels like you are on another planet because it is so desolate and absolutely no one lives there.


Comments are closed.