Monday, July 26, 2010

Ash from a volcano

To my four-year old son, I say: I will bring you home some ash from the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull.

20/7/10. Arrive Reykjavík.

Suggestion #1 from locals (my hosts)
Ash is available in small tubes for $15 from Reykjavík souvenir shops. Why drive all the way to the volcano?

Is it wrong to buy ash for your four-year old? Yes.

Suggestion #2 from local (musician)
Ash is available from my practice room window sill. See. (Wipes index finger on window sill, still dirty with ash.)

Is it wrong to clean a friend’s window sill and call it collecting ash from a volcano? Yes.

1) Borrow host’s car.
2) Drive to volcano: 100km from Reykjavík, $60 in petrol.
3) Collect ash from roadside.

Suggestion #3 from local (my sister/tour guide)
Make sure you get the white ash. It is fresher than the dark stuff.

13:00, 26/7/10. Drive begins.

14:00. Stop at Selfoss for hot dog and chocolate milk and Icelandic donuts.

15:00. There is no roadside ash.

16:00. There is an ash storm. The sky fills with white ash. There is absolutely no ash by the roadside.

In the face of an ash storm, is it wrong to abandon the search for ash? Yes.

17:30. Search abandoned.

15:00, 27/7/10. Airport souvenir shop. Purchase of 1 tube of ash (sparkles): $15.

16:10. Depart Reykjavík.

Is it wrong to take the label off the tube and pretend that I collected the ash myself? Yes.

The view of the ash storm from Hlídarendi, as it comes out of the valley

A curious resident of Hlídarendi

Looking up the valley towards Thorsmörk, the ash thickens

Back in town: proof that spontaneous acts of street poetry can end badly

And one wonders what's left to do