Oh dear lord, what a night! The son’s been coughing constantly. Poor thing. But hey, my eyes are pretty much redux. We decide to get cough syrup right after the breakfast. The son doesn’t want to eat anything proper, just jam with porridge (yes, that way around!) and a lot of chocolate cookies. He starts chewing some cookies. He gets a coughing attack. He chokes on the crumbles. People start starring at us. A really nice British family picks up a conversation. They have two sons. We exchange small talk. Then they ask how long we are staying here, because if we were interested, the boys could maybe some day go an play together and… “We leave tomorrow”, my social husband interrupts the mother. “Oh, I see.”, she says. Then, after a pause of awkward silence, we leave the restaurant. We go to the hotel room, get dressed in our outdoor clothes – still very smelly – and walk to the bus stop next to the hotel. The pharmacist informs us that they are not allowed to sell us any products that actually contain drug substances without a prescription. She shows us some natural cough syrups. I look at the prices. I am shocked. I tell the husband to look for some cough remedy in the health store next door. We enter the store. A very motivated salesgirl asks us what we are looking for. I tell her. She points at an empty shelf. “We’re doing inventory at the moment.”, she explains. “Oh, well… no can do, I guess.”, I say. She smiles. “I will make your son a tea with lemon, honey and ginger, okay?” Did I mentioned that this place reminds me of my mother? If my mum was a store, she would be Heilsuhúsið. “Sure.”, I answer and watch her boil water, get a fresh lemon, get the ginger and the honey and fix a hot lemonade to go. She hands me the paper cup. “Be careful, it’s really hot.” The son is excited. I reach for my wallet. “No, no!”, she exclaims, almost insulted. “It’s for free.” She smiles empathetic at the son. We effusively give thanks, then we leave. To my surprise the son eagerly drinks his tea. It seems to really help. We go souvenir shopping. Then we go to eat some really good burgers at Prikid. The son complains a lot, obviously feeling uncomfortable. We go to the pharmacy once more and buy a natural cough syrup. We feed a spoon full to our son. He is crying. We feel guilty for being here instead of in bed. We buy some groceries for dinner at Bónus and take the bus back to the hotel. We again spend time in bed watching TV and taking a nap. As the son awakes from his nap he starts crying once more. His head is pretty warm. We have an early morning, so we figure that we could continue being in bed for the rest of the day. We eat some more, watch some more TV and then try to sleep. The husband won’t sleep. I won’t sleep. But the son quickly falls into a restless sleep. We look at each other. The husband turns the TV back on. We watch some more TV, the hot child in the middle of the bed. Then the husband starts snoring. I try to sleep, but watch the clock instead. Time passes by. It’s almost midnight. The son is making really weird noises. As if he was suffering a lot. I place my hand on his forehead. It is very hot and sweaty. I wake the husband. I don’t know what to do. I cry a little. Then I decide to go down to the lobby and ask the receptionist for a medical thermometer. He is over-averagely alert, bidding me to describe the situation. I do. He suggests taking the son to the hospital. Just to be sure he is in a condition stable enough to fly home. I agree. We call a taxi. I go dress the son and grab the husband. The taxi driver is very nice and helps us a lot to find the right entrance. He handles all the Icelandic talking. Then we are led to a treatment room. We wait. The world’s nicest pediatrician comes in. He is looking at the son, making some fun, then some tests, taking a blood sample. We wait some more. Then the result: just a nasty cold. We can fly home in a few hours. We get some antipyretics. Then we get a cab. Then we get a little bit of sleep. Then we get up. Then we get a great packed lunch from our receptionist. Then we get on the bus. Then we are told that we are not allowed to eat and drink on the bus. We hungrily clutch to our packed lunch. At the airport we stuff ourselves with all the liquid ingredients of our packed lunch. Then we go through security. They test our luggage for drugs. We are confused. “You sure your dad’s luggages are clean?”, I jokingly ask the husband. Well, luckily they are. We have some time at the airport. We spend most of it going to the bathroom, because we drank all the liquids from our packed lunch. Then we get on the plane. The son sleeps mostly all the trip. We arrive home really exhausted.
Yesterday I asked the husband if he considered our Iceland trip a nice experience.
“Yeah, sure. I always wanted to go there and then we all went there as a family. It was a great gift!”
I look at him puzzled, then show him my diary of that time.
“Well, reading it like this… did you dislike our trip?”, he asks.
“Strangely, no. I really enjoyed being there. It was just really bad timing with the son’s cold, and your cold and my eyes… And of course I could have done great without the complications at the airport when we where about to start our trip. And I really would have liked to stay there longer.”
We are silent for a moment.
“I really would like to go there again, sometimes.”, I break the silence.
“Yeah, me too.”, the husband agrees.
We agree that people there where really nice, really fond of children and really fluent in the English language. Then we change the subject.