(above: the Icelandic tourism board - from Iceland - is going to use this appealing slogan for the next tourism season: 'it's fine. we didn't want you tourists to come anyway. we've got enough food and drink. we don't need your sympathy. b***** off!')
Iceland has hit the front pages of all newspapers, magazines and some Argos catalogues once again because of its volcanic activity. Though in this case, it has been another volcano the one that has erupted and interrupted the air traffic. As many geologists have stated: 'Eyjafjallajökull is sooo 2010, Grimsvotn is the new must have for this season'. However, this is not my point. Can't you see it? Iceland is a clear example of attention seeking. Iceland is trying to make all Europe turn their heads towards them by, literally, crying and throwing up all over. In short, they are displaying their ability to be annoying to the rest of the continent because no one gives a damn about them. And that's got a name: arrogance.
It is fair to say this is not my idea but an ancient Greek philosopher's I once met (he actually was an old man running a kebab shop in Zante). When I met that wise man he told me: 'I'll tell you what, Icelanders are a piece of s*** compared to the Scottish'. As soon he said this, he disappeared in a deep and creepy laughter. I was genuinely scared. But then he came back with some pitta bread and expanded on his unclear idea: 'It's 2.20 euros, mate'.
I paid no heed to what kebab man taught me that day until the April when the previous volcano erupted. What happened then was that my flight was cancelled, so were many others, and I had to stay in the airport for several days. So what I did in my spare time there was to chat with the Icelanders and try to get a most accurate picture of their arrogance. I will never forget what happened in one of those conversations with Icelanders. It showed me that even the Icelanders you don't expect to be as much arrogant as others can be even more than the rest.
(I: Icelander W: 'we' as in 'we are most amused')
W: Excuse me, are you from Iceland?
I: Yes, where are you from?
W: Nah, you wouldn't know...
I: OK. Do you want some Icelandic biscuits?
W: No, thank you. I find any product from your land repulsive.
I: Fair enough. Is that what you say? 'Fair enough'...?
W: Yeah, whatever. Where about in Iceland are you from?
W: Oh, thank God. You are a good Icelander, then?
W: Oh, yes, we know you lot are trustworthy. I was going to ask, can you do me a favour? Would you mind taking this parcel to my cousin who lives in Iceland?
I: Yes, sure. What's in the parcel?
W: Things. Thingy, thingy, things, things... you'd better not ask.
I: Yeah, OK. Where about in north Iceland does your cousin live?
I: I'm sorry, man. But that's not in north Iceland but in Northern Iceland.
W: Yes, and you can take it there and give it to my cousin.
I: But it's not the same country.
W: But you can go to Belfast and give this parcel to my cousin...
I: BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME COUNTRY!!
My heart shattered to pieces. I didn't expect anyone from the north of Iceland to be THAT arrogant with me, after all I thought we were brothers... I only have one word for that: ARROGANCE.
One last thing to Iceland. Iceland: less volcanos and more leprechauns.
THE WELSH PATIENT says: 'My cousin lived in Abbottabad for 5 years. He told me the Bin Ladens were a nice bunch - they even took care of his cat when he went on holidays to Port Talbot.'