The last sign of Iceland‘s foray into globalization is gone. The small Arctic country is going to lose its three McDonald’s restaurants. Three locations were owned by Lyst Hr., all in the capital city, Reykjavik. According to Lyst, the economic situation was just too difficult, especially since the company had to by its supplies from Germany. The decline in the Icelandic krona relative to the euro just pushed costs too high. In order to be profitable, the Icelandic Big Mac would have to become the most expesnive in the world, at $6.36. Right now, it’s priced at $5.29, with the most expensive in Norway and Switzerland at $5.75.
Well, I’m on the last leg of my Stockholm trip, a six-hour flight on Icelandair. Followers of the Migrant Blogger know that Icelandair is not among my favorites, typically failing to get even the basics right. The trip home from Sweden has put everything in the airline’s favor. From Stockholm to Keflavik, I had an entire row to myself. From Keflavik to JFK, I have an empty seat next to me-not as good, but still plenty of room.So, how did Icelandair screw it up?
I will never understand why some countries insist on having their own currency. No, I’m not going to beat up on Canada right now. Even if it is small and only borders us, their economy is clearly developed, and the country does just fine with its crazy pictures of the queen. But, I am confused about Iceland and Sweden. Both make their own cash, as if the fucking Euro isn’t good enough. Even with its recent slide, the Euro has still pounded the shit out of the dollar, especially when you consider that €1 was worth only 50 cents when the currency was first introduce. Now, it’s well over a dollar and has been for several years.Lesson: Bet on Europe, even if they don’t have real work weeks.
I don’t know what it is about Scandinavians and civil liberties. They really don’t seem to be into them. Everywhere you go, there are cameras. But, at least they are nice enough to tell you that you are being watched.
I love crazy signs, and I try to offend equally. I’ve served up crazy signs from New York, Montreal and Tallinn. Well, Stockholm is no exception. I have found some funny stuff while wandering these streets. Take a peek after the jump.
Might as well get this jotted down while the memory is still fresh. I still hate the only airline that will get you into and out of Iceland. Icelandair announced some major improvements a few weeks ago, so I was cautiously optimistic. After my last experience with this airline, I had to keep my hopes realistic.
… though not for long. I got here with enough time to grab some coffee and find a bathroom. I’m plucking away at my laptop now to post later because, of course, Keflavik Airport doesn’t offer free internet access. I just looked down at the computer’s clock: 2:09 AM. Of course, it’s really 7:10 AM here in Iceland.
Translation: I got screwed out of five hours of sleep. But, this is the life I chose.
I think I’ll be awake for the Iceland-to-Sweden leg of my trip. I’m pretty much awake now, and a bit more caffeine on the plane should seal the deal for me. I need to do a bit of prep for the day’s festivities in Stockholm.
Well, I have less than an hour until the wheels go up. Six hours to Reykjavik, then another three to Stockholm. I’m dreading the flight but excited about the trip. I’ll be covering an event dealing with clean technologies. Before you dismiss this as some tree-hugger shit, keep in mind that we live in a country beholden to oil, and some alternative will be needed soon. Think about it from a perspective of diversification. With all our eggs in one basket, we’re taking on a hell of a lot of risk. I think I know the angles I want to cover, so I’ll be able to hit the ground running.
I’ll be hitting the road again in a few days, with two major trips coming up. On Sunday night, I’ll be heading to Stockholm, Sweden (stopping over at Keflavik Airport in Iceland) for a short-burn, three-day trip. It’s a cool press trip. I’ll be looking at some “green” initiatives, from a travel perspective. I’ve never been to Sweeden, though this will be my second trip to Scandinavia this year (and ever). Then, I’ll be home for two days before heading out to Scotland for a week. I’ll be covering both for my weekly column in TraderDaily.com.
I’m pretty excited about getting out on the road again. I haven’t done any serious travel since heading out to Montreal in July, though I guess my August trip to Florida for Internext kinda counts, like my September trip to Washington, DC. However you add it all up, these are new destinations for me, and I’m psyched.
I’m an equal opportunity offender. Since I’ve had funs with street signs in Canada, Finland and Reykjavik, it’s time to put my hometown on the chopping block! My wife and I went down to the East Village for breakfast on Saturday, and on our way home (barely missing getting stuck in the rain), I stumbled upon these gems.
They’re not all that clear– apologies– but I only had my blackberry camera handy.
I guess they do it all. “All types of hair cuts” and watch batteries … what else is there? Well, the real question probably is: who’d go for either?
If you stand right beneath this awning, you’re in the middle of … oh, never mind.
Thai Me Up! I suspect it’s just food, but if they ever need to expand, they’re ready.