…from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow. Led Zeppelin screamed these words and unknowingly became the first “Friends of Iceland”.
If you’re famous, have been to Iceland once, and have said anything positive about the country, you are qualified to be an Íslandsvinur – A Friend of Iceland.
This honour is probably bestowed because we feel small in a global context and want to feel oh-so-glam, so we use that popular method employed by anyone feeling inferior – we namedrop. When foreign friends are over we take them to Harrison Ford’s favourite Indian place, Ryan Philippe’s hang out hotel bar, and Damon Albarn’s does-he-still-own-it?-anyway-he-loves-it pub. And every girl you’ll meet here has received a drink or two from this or that chap. Especially this chap. –>
The first time celebs are here they might get some attention. But by the second and third time they’re here, they have gained the Friend of Iceland status and should be treated as a local celeb, i.e. coyly ignored except in queues outside the clubs. In this way, the celebs can get some privacy, and the Icelanders have something to blog about and tell their foreign friends.
We also like to spread our love of Iceland to all who visit. Even people that are here for work, like actors filming in Iceland, are said to have “fallen for Icelandic nature and leisure” simply because they spend their days off swimming, looking at Geysir, and going to clubs. If they buy an estate here it keeps the entire Icelandic nation happy for a month or so.
If the Íslandsvinur mentions that they were here in interviews it becomes headline news. Quentin Tarantino said horrible things about drunk Icelandic models on Conan O’Brian. However, he did like the snowmobile tour and he complimented Brennivín. This one was tricky, because of the drunken Icelandic women comments, but in the end his status as an Íslandsvinur remained because the girls he mentioned weren’t really supermodels (just regular Icelandic beauties) and he wore some Nonni Dead designs on various occasions after his visit. So it’s all good.
There’s only one man that is an enemy of Iceland – Robbie Williams. When he stepped out of his private jet, and Icelandic news casters bombarded him with questions about what he knew about Iceland, as well as the infamous question How do you like Iceland? his security guards brutally pushed them aside. So Robbie criminally said absolutely nothing about the beauty of Iceland or its women, even though he had been in the country for about 12 minutes. Furthermore, he walked off stage after 20 minutes of playing because someone threw a water bottle on stage. A sworn enemy indeed.
If you are not sure how to keep your cool around international celebrities, go to this bar and learn from the best.