Iceland: Day 5
Today began at 9:30 am. A little earlier than the previous days, but not as early as tomorrow’s 8 am wake up call. We took advantage of Iceland’s lovely transportation system and took a bus to the Forlagið Publishing House. Forlagið is the largest independently owned publishing company in all of Iceland. The company enjoys a quaint office building with a modern twist. It appeared to have a very casual environment for its workers and guests. The publishing company does everything from murder mysteries to children’s stories and also markets books to be translated into other languages. Although most members of the company were on vacation, we did get to meet the Chairman of Forlagið. Meet Ranðver the cat.
Ranðver sits in a cooled office chair and sleeps all day, but on rare occasions he dislikes certain authors and potential clients that enter the room. If the cat does not approve of the client then the deal is off. So anyone hoping to get published in Iceland might want to consider cat nip.
The rest of the day I chilled out and caught up on some sleep. After several hours of sleeping and Macing off I decided it was time to continue my quest for exotic foods. We tried out a traditional restaurant known as Café Loki. There were two very intriguing items on the menu, the dried cod and the fermented Greenland shark. Dried cod has been a very important dish throughout history for Icelandic people. It would never go bad over long journeys abroad and was used in some places as a form of currency. Greenland shark is a very interesting dish because the shark itself is poisonous. Within the flesh is a toxin known as trimethylamine oxide, which breaks down and produces a similar effect to roofies. In order to eat the shark one must ferment it for several months. It eventually forms an odor so strong that only a glass jar can keep the stench contained. Greenland shark has developed the reputation of being the worst tasting food on the entire planet. And the verdict is…
GREENLAND SHARK IS THE WORST FOOD IN THE ENTIRE PLANET!!! If one were to take a rubber band and covered it in motor oil and sardines then that would be half as bad as this dish. Moral of the story is eating this monstrous creature does not give you special powers, it does not help you grow a tail, and it definitely does not make you look tougher holding that little toothpick with a little meat at the end. Therefore, DO NOT EAT GREENLAND SHARK!