Iceland 2009 – Entry #4

6AM ROOM 749

Sometimes my discpline works against me. My body doesn’t sleep in. It gets the amount of sleep it needs, then wakes up. And once I’m up, I’m up.

The hangover wanted to tell me differently. I unsteadily stood from my bed, putting my hand against the wall for balance. The room throbbed. No wait, that was my head.

I stumbled into the bathroom and drank about 2 litres of water, then fell back into bed. It was a little trick I had learned in college for wiping out most hangovers. As I fell back to sleep (so much for all that physical discipline), I hoped this was one of those times it worked.

8AM ROOM 749

I hesitantly opened one eye. The world wasn’t spinning. I cautiously sat upright on the bed. Nothing was spinning. I stood up and stretched, feeling very good. another hangover avoided!

I threw my workout clothes on (yes, the same ones from yesterday, eeewwww!), tied up my running shoes, headed down to the lobby, and out the front door of the Grand Hotel.

I jogged along the sealine boardwalk for an hour, enjoying the clear, crisp air. I could see snow along the mountaintops, which were completely visible today.

Upon returning to the Grand, I went to my room, limbered and loose, and worked out for another hour.

I’m sure by now, you’re curious what type of exercises I am doing, so let me at least tell you the Chest workout part:

  • Do Explosive push-ups, that is where when you push up from the ground you allow your feet and your hands to come off of the ground together. It works your abs, many minor muscles, and your chest. Do these to fail, that is, as many as possible before lactic buildup pain prevents you from doing any more.
  • As soon as you cannot do anymore of those, do clapping pushups. This is where when you push up from the ground, you clap your hands beneath you before coming back down. Do these to fail.
  • Immediately to regular regular pushups to fail. Trust me, by now, it’s still going to hurt like a bitch.
  • Right after that, do “girl” pushups, with your knees on the ground, until you can’t do anymore. You’ll be crying (I know I did the first time I did these), but it’s worth it.
  • Rest two minutes, allowing your muscles to recover slightly, and to get some good deep breaths of oxygen back into your body.
  • Repeat these exercises for a second set.

I had another great, long, hot shower after my workout, having already decided today to see a different area of Rekjavik… the shopping mall!

I walked around the same areas I had the previous day, asking for directions from various people (I just like talking to people), and was growing confused as more than one person mentioned I would need to go to Greenland, but that if I really wanted to, I could walk there, though it would be easier to take the bus.

I could take a bus or walk to Greenland?!? How cool is that?

I began in the general direction I was told, but felt as though I was getting lost after a while, or that maybe these Icelandic people had a communal joke they played on tourists.

I saw a blonde woman with her back partially turned to me, and asked her for some directions.

“Excuse me. Do you speak English?” I said to her.

She turned around, her eyes red with freely flowing tears down her cheeks, but still managed to say “Yes, I do speak English.”

“Are you ok?” I asked without hesitation.

“No.” she replied, much to my surprise. “It’s my boyfriend.”

“Do you want help?” I continued on, not even thinking about the words coming from my mouth.

She didn’t have the chance to answer, as the “boyfriend” showed up at that moment, screaming, threatening, aggressive in his body language, walking angrily towards her.

She started screaming, more tears coming from her face, and he was waving one hand up and down towards me while interrogating her. I didn’t have to understand the language to know an abusive asshole when I saw one. Still, not my country, not my argument. I mean, I didn’t even know the laws in Iceland. What was I supposed to do?

Then my internal alarms went off, you know, that sinking gut feeling we all get if we’re silent and listen to it that something bad is about to happen.

He lifted his hand to hit her.

 I don’t know what it is about me. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I’m pyschotic and in need of serious mental help, thinking myself a real superhero.

Whatever it is, I was already committed. In retrospect, I realize I get into these situations because I believe I can handle them. And sometimes that is what is needed, someone to handle things others will not, or can not. My wife thinks I’m just a “busy body” to which I counter I just like to be aware at all times, but in the end I like to think she’s proud of me for being the man I am.

I grabbed his arm far more strongly than I thought I could, and with my other, straight armed him backwards. I left that arm up in a defensive position, uttering the word “no” in a threatening voice, shaking my head back and forth.

My heart was pounding, my adrenaline surging. I’ve been in my share of fights. It’s not that I’m tough, it’s that I’m dirty. You may beat me down, I am not that egotistical to think these things don’t happen; I’ve seen it far too many times. But I will tear your ear, or thumb your eye, or kick your balls, or bite your lip, or pull your hair. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that if you really are certain you want to fuck with me, you will remember it for the rest of your life.

This guy didn’t want to. I let his arm go, and the two of them yelled at each other before he spat at her, then stormed off. Takes a real big men to spit.

She started crying some more, and I spent the next half hour sitting with her, arm around her shoulder, while she got it out of her system.

Oi.

Finally, I asked her for directions to Greenland. She laughed at me, which is always funny when someone has been crying.

She corrected me. Apparently people had been telling me to go to “Kringla”, the big shopping mall, and in my ignorance I had heard Greenland, and just simply thought them all daft.

She asked me why I wanted to go there, and I told her I needed an eye pencil. What I couldn’t tell her was that I was going to be drawing a Minmatar tribal tattoo on my face for a game convention in town this week, and that is why I needed it. She never asked anyway.

Instead, she told me the Kringla was overpriced, and that if I wanted, she would show me all the good places to go in Rekjavik, not the tourist places.

I accepted the offer, and spent the next few hours marking up my tourist map with key locations she showed me.

I think her name was Svelta, or Stella, or something like that. Apparently my command of Islenska wasn’t that great.

When we had appropriated a satisfactory eye pencil, I thanked her, and was to be on my way.

She got weird suddenly… wanting to come to my hotel with me, not wanting to be by herself.

My first thought was that “boyfriend” meant “client”, and that somehow I had saved a hooker from her pimp, and that there would be some type of expected repayment for this. I really wasn’t interested in that.

My second thought was more accurate, and far more respectful. She probably just didn’t want to go back to her boyfriend. I realized that my actions had probably made things worse for her in the long run. I mean, ideally we like to think people will simply not go back to situations that hurt them, but we’re not that smart as a species.

She would go back. He would probably beat the shit out of her. And she would probably stay, trying to save the relationship, because she loved him.

But to me, many things are very black and white. I’m happily married. One of my own rules is to never spend time alone with a woman who is not my wife, regardless of intentions.

I told her no, that I had things to do, but was very happy to have met her, which I was.

She reluctantly got the hint, and I made my back to the Grand hotel solo.

Now I’m back at the hotel, sitting here blogging, hoping my wife gets my email message during her lunch break that I’m on IM and would love to talk to her.

In the meantime, I’ve picked out my schedule for Fanfest. Here it is for those interested:

THURSDAY

  • 2 PM – Fiction Writers – figured since I like to fashion myself a semi-decent fiction writer, I should attend this and get some tips from professionals.
  • 3 PM – Content Meet & Greet – I’ve already the pleasure of meeting a few of the Content writers from the Atlanta office, so would like to follow up on that and perhaps get to learn some interesting things to further help with my fiction writing.
  • 4PM – Design Democracy – Players get to direct a ship design… hell yeah!
  • 5PM – Web Development – as a web developer, well former web guy now Production Management guy, this one fascinates me.
  • 7 – 10 PM – Charity Poker Tournament

FRIDAY

  • 10:30 – Opening Ceremony
  • 11 AM – COSMOS
  • 12 PM – 0.0 Space – a subject I know nothing about, and it’s the most interesting of the offerings to me.
  • 1 PM – PvP – Nothing else available, lol. Guess I’ll go to that!
  • 2 PM – The Economy – as a Market PvPer, I am totally going to this.
  • 3 PM – COSMOS & API – Duh.
  • 4 PM – Virtual Organization – Hmm, a Roc corporation, go on…
  • 5 PM – Changing the Landscape – No description of this. That makes me want to go all the more!
  • 6 PM – DOMINION !!!
  • 7 PM – Quiz Show – funny fun
  • 8 – 10 PM – Battle of the Bands. Prepare for the debut of Salmon Rock bitches!
  • 10 PM + drink, drink, drink, ok, drink.

SATURDAY

  • 10 AM – Movie Matinee – I am so bringing popcorn.
  • 11 AM – Artificial Intelligence – as an AI hobbyist myself, I want to go see how the professionals do it.
  • 12 PM – PvP Finals – I won’t be in it, but I’ll be watching it.
  • 1 PM – Storyline Processes – yup, more help for my writing endeavours.
  • 2 PM – Human Resources – let’s not say anything more about that one.
  • 3 – 5PM – CCP PRESENTS!
  • 5 PM – CCP PANEL – I have some good questions for them too.
  • 6 – 8  PM – Grab some dinner with the new friends I am hoping to make OR eat alone, crying in a corner
  • 8 PM + party, party, party!

5:30 PM GRAND HOTEL LOBBY

Just sitting here blogging away, when lo and behold, Olivier Dacla sits down beside me, from Mondes Persistants, an excellent French MMO media site, and an official EVE Online fansite.

He was also lucky enough to be the first player to get an autographed Roc Wieler picture, but I have plenty. If you want one at Fanfest, hit me up; I’d be happy to sign one for you.

Hmm, just was discussing the voice of Aura, and remembered that before Mynxee was willing to do the voice, we actually hit up the actress who did the voice of Aura for EVE Online, one Caroline Dalton. Wouldn’t she make a fantastic guest at Fanfest? (Are you reading this CCP?)

Well, that’s all from me for now. We’re up to date on my blogging and wife is now on IM. I’ll keep you all posted as my adventures continue.

7 responses to “Iceland 2009 – Entry #4

  1. Gratz on doing the right thing Roc. I’m hooked on the reports from Iceland too – not much work going on today I’m afraid.

  2. Whoa what a story. And a kind acts to a complete stranger on your part. It’s odd that this whole thing did happen to you. It’s probably what I would be thinking about afterward. Makes you wonder.

    Sad that you may be right, the poor woman may just go back to more abuse. But I guess you showed her what a decent male can do for her.

  3. Damn, Roc. And the party hasn’t even started!

    Tomorrow you’ll get arrested, deliver a baby, and wrestle an icelandic hawk.. in that order.

    Enjoying the reads. Hope you’re still enjoying the trip! Intense. 🙂

  4. nice to see someone still stands up for whats right. /me tips hat to yu sir, well done. whatever she does after is no longer in your hands so dont worry about it, at least when you could do something; you did. not many would have at all and simply turned a blind eye.

    you do seem to be getting in to some real interesting adventures! cant wait for that post on delivering babys and bird wrestling…

  5. I wish I could work my schedule around so we could work-out together!

    Sir, you ARE a hero. Though you might want to know the Icelandic version of 911 if you’re going to pull that stuff. I usually recommend calling the cops if things escalate that far. In Canada if you witness an assault (or worse, known as an indictable offense), you have the power of citizen’s arrest. Hold them, call the cops. Simple.

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