I knew Iceland when the party was on

October 6, 2008

I visited Iceland several years ago, when Iceland had one of the wealthiest states on Earth per capita, not to mention some of the happiest, carefree people too. Party’s over now. I have some Icelandic krona notes I happened to bring home; they’re worth as much as confetti now. When I was there, things were quite expensive, $10 for a pylsur, or hot dog. I liked skyr too. I imagine now that prices are dirt cheap for visiting foreigners. The party, nightlife scene for city as small as Reykjavik, impressive. A fascinating place, with out of wedlock children the social norm, no military (officially, though ‘police’ have been sent to Afghanistan), and leadership in renewable energy sources.

Iceland was once one of the poorest places on Earth, I read. Starvation visited the island over the centuries, keeping the population small through Malthuisan impulses. Today Iceland only has around 300,000 people. If the country has to be bailed out by foreigners, can it keep out of the EU?

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