I woke up in Iceland and saw my breath. Where is my sweater?, I wondered as I calculated 16 degrees Celsius into Fahrenheit with my iPhone’s converter app. The 60-degree crisp air felt dramatically different than the 98-degree swampy feel of New Orleans. I liked it. It felt fresh.
I drank coffee in Iceland and swore I tasted heaven. The server delivered my delicious latte with a ladybugs napkin and the moment became perfect.
I walked around Iceland and discovered its beauty. Mountains and colors and hot spring steam surrounded me. I declared a return trip to the country before the first day ended.
I drank water in Iceland, and then I got more. The tap water tasted fresher than filtered water from home. Pitchers and empty glasses sat next to the soda machines of every restaurant and cafe waiting for visitors to indulge and enjoy.
I tried to speak Icelandic in Iceland, but failed miserably. Names like Hallgrímskirkja, a famous Reykjavik church, seem too long to be words. Vowels read with unfamiliar symbols. I stuck with the word Takk (thanks). That one I could do.
I turned on lights in Iceland, but pushed the switch down. Acts like this that seemed backward to me also appeared when turning nobs toward the locks to unlock doors.
I spotted horses in Iceland that looked like ponies. They stood shorter and sported different haircuts than any adult horses I’ve seen in the U.S.
I collected sand in Iceland – an unexpected addition to my sand collection at home. I never thought I’d fill a jar of sand in Iceland.
I saw wooden architecture in Iceland everywhere I turned. Wood made the airport floors, schoolyard fences and downtown homes.
I counted money in Iceland and smiled at sea creatures. Crabs, dolphins and other fish etched one side of the króna coins – a pleasant change from the presidents we carry in our U.S. wallets.
I ate candy in Iceland and tasted lots of chocolate and licorice. It seemed a popular combination among the country’s well-stocked candy shelves.
I crossed traffic in Iceland when the red man turned green in the crosswalk light. The traffic lights signaled cars as they changed from red to yellow to green in addition to green to yellow to red.
I showered in Iceland and chose my degrees. After turning one dial to determine my water pressure, I aligned a marker with the second dial’s printed Celsius numbers. I chose the high numbers, as I craved hot showers during my cool days in Iceland.
I went to sleep in Iceland and had a new friend. My local host taught me more about the country than I expected to learn in two short days. She’s a fellow Taurus and at least as stubborn as me. She also has a warm heart. I feel proud to have a friend from Iceland.