VI. Cultural Notes and an Incipient Quest
Given the relative quietude of early-to-late weektide for the average non-temporary residents of this fair town, there is a certain welcome and at the very least well understandable custom that overtakes its taverns and dance halls and streets. It is called runtur in the local tongue, which one might elongatedly translate as ‘getting quite drunk in one place and then getting quite drunker in another, followed by staying quite drunker and adding renewed drunkenness atop, all the while dropping into and out of pubs and so forth here and there and at will, and waiting occasionally in a queue, and watching people occasionally stumble and collapse, and maybe doing so yourself.’
And so it would be that an early-week foretelling of an invariably Valhalla-like drunk Friday night would be realized in full, itself an underestimation. For as runtur begins its course in the latter vespers of Fridays and carries over well into the following noontide, particularly as the merriment of being bent turns into the decrepitude of feeling broken and shattered asunder, which for Pál Able-Tongue, at least, was not necessarily not the case.
A discrete amount more about that will be told in due time.
Of greater conquest though similarly Viking-like import, however, and preceding all that, was the newly exploratory venture embarked upon by Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed, a new blazing of trails that supplanted previous blazings in hot baths or by way of winged heels with a more contemporary issue, that of a rented motor carriage on four wheels.
And so it was that the three voyagers rented one car and set out on one road trip, arising four hours before sunrise to get things properly underway, even if four hours before dawn in Reykjavik is just dawn elsewhere, and not even awfully early, but this matters not.
The point is that keeping things somewhat sober on Thursday night was a well-heeded omen indeed.
Incidentally, the chieftain of vehicular loanings who assigned the travelers their transport did himself carry a new omen himwith. For he is what one calls ‘the door guy at a hot club,’ and so he promised preferential ingress and ‘some beautiful girls’ for later that night. Not everyone was interested in his offers. Others, however, weren’t not interested, though it was agreed that the clubbing crowd of which he spoke, which had already been once or twice glimpsed, would likely consist of too many post-saga-type brethren and satchels of Francophone showers for such an option to be seriously considered. It was anyway, in some way, something of an omen.
Incidentally as well, given said chieftain’s revelation of an additional occupation as gatekeeper of bagged forms of dilute vinegral cleansings, Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed agreed that basically everyone in this land has multiple jobs. Note of this was taken; on occasion, advantage of this was taken as well.
Meanwhile, advantage would also be taken of a certain lack of roadside authorities, who were in fact nowhere to be seen for the roadtrip’s duration. Nor were too many other cars present, for that matter. This makes reaching illicit speeds and maintaining them for increasingly illicit, perhaps even irresponsible distances, especially on long, winding roads that measure barely two lanes, a great deal easier and a great deal more entertaining, to the point of being nearly mandatory.
Even when the toy-like vehicle in question is more responsive to wind than a sailboat. And even when the seasonal winds in question are abundant, gusty and incessant.
Moreover, those long dark mornings do also feature long and treacherous stretches of darkened ice.
Warning of this was conveyed just before the trip began. And about this great trip’s beginnings and subsequent conquests, much more will soon be said.
The ancient Alþingi, finally, was very soon to be seen.