(The following post was originally posted on http://www.carlteglund.blogspot.com January 10 2007)
Ah! Iceland! Finally here! Did you know that Iceland is a country filled with exciting nature, gorgeous women with large boobs, blond hair and that their ancestors were the Vikings? Did you also know that their capitol – Reykjavík – is overflowing with coffee houses, nightclubs and places to go to if you want yourself get loaded? Yes – of course you did. But did you also know that Iceland is a regulative, controlling and oppressing daddy-knows-better-than-you- country? No – well, I thought not. But in fact it is. How did I come up to this brutal conclusion of truth? Well, it all started back home in Sweden.
I hadn’t bought any alcoholic beverages until I came to Arlanda (the Airport outside Stockholm) with all my fully-loaded trunks and bags – exhilarated of moving away from Sweden for awhile (?). I bought 2 liter (4, 23 US pints) of gin & 2 liter of Swedish vodka. Since Iceland is not a member of the European Union I knew it was going to be tough but I thought that due to they are members of the EEC they wouldn’t be so harsh after all. Well, shame on me! Directly after when I’d picked up my traveling bag and checked that I had everything with me, I went to the Customs. I was nervous because I didn’t know the exact amount of what you were allowed to bring with you into the country. Maybe that made me look suspicious, because I got caught in the Customs by those communist bastards and then they forced me to pay a fee on 4 800 ISK (around 55 $).
I mean, I could live with that, but it is the core principle that keeps bugging me. Why does the Icelandic government have to interfere with what honest Nordic citizens bring to their country? Ok – if they check for guns and other tools that can be dangerous towards others I could definitely see the point of doing so, but this is just because they want to keep the prices continuously (and awfully) high on a product that THEY think is immoral and wrong. But if they don’t want to use the product – they don’t have to – and since high tariffs and taxes won’t stop us from usage of this drug called alcohol, why then keep up with a system that only enriches the state and oppresses the freedom of each individual? In my part of the world, Scandinavia that is, we have one of the highest rates of alcohol usage in the whole world. But we still have one of the toughest regulation systems (which include state monopoly on all products containing alcohol, strict rules to follow for the barkeepers etc).
So here you’re dealing with a place where the state interfere the most in order to “protect” its citizens from themselves, but it also has the highest usage of alcoholic beverages in the whole world. Quod erat demonstrandum = state regulations do not work! This is just being a part of our common cultural behavior. Of course it can be destructive for a single individual who cannot deal with alcoholic beverages and has an addictive personality, but there shouldn’t be a collective punishment for that. I don’t have any signs of getting addicted to things very easily – why should I then, nonetheless, be punished just because someone else cannot deal with alcohol? These kinds of things have to be put upon an individual level of guilt – there’s no other way to handle this question. The most righteous thing to do would be to abolish all tariffs and taxations that have been enforced on the market only because a state thinks that some products are being immoral or wrong and let them make their own decisions on subjects dealing with their own life and health.
Now I paid the fee the state charged me for and I have my bottles. And believe me, I will use them. So, state of Iceland, what have you actually accomplished with all this since I will use my alcohol nevertheless? The only thing you’ve done is to put a big hole in my pocket (and in my soul) thus only making me furious. To end this outrage I will finish it with a quote from Margaret Thatcher – give me my money back, ASAP!