Jul 17, 2010 | Akureyri, Iceland
Jul 17, 2010

We had just landed in Iceland and the captain came on.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "we have a little surprise for you. Akureyri has just gotten a new fire truck, and in honor of its first day, they are going to shoot an arc of water over the airplane and we are going to drive under it."

It was the kind of announcement you would only ever hear in Iceland — the kind of announcement that makes German tourists giggle with delight.

Sure enough, you could see the new fire truck off to the right, and the old fire truck off to the left. The plane rolled along the runway and started to turn into the space between the two trucks. You could see the men in the cabs fiddling with some kind of levers, and then suddenly big torrents of water shot out of their hoses and into the air. The plane rolled right under the triumphal arch, and the water was hitting us everywhere. You could hear it on the roof and see it on the windows, and then the water was all you could see.

Iceland is a place where weirdness does not need a reason.

It is good to be back, and not to have to say why.