Iceland on the cheap: Am I the worst person in the world?

So I just took advantage of Grant’s tipoff last week to $400 roundtrip airfare to Iceland. I’m flying out of Boston the weekend before Thanksgiving, and staying for a week. And I believe my flight came out to something like $550, not bad at all for a departure on Saturday and return on Sunday.

Now I’m trying to scoop up some dirt-cheap hotel rooms, a rental car, and hmm, maybe a mid-sized bank somewhere. Yes, I do feel a bit awkward just parachuting into a country that’s, according to news today, running out of food in 3-5 weeks.

It’s a beautiful country, but I’m almost more excited to go walk down Main Street and just see what a “bankrupt” country is like, in the dead of winter no less. I mean, when does that ever happen? Or did I just speak too soon.

On a related note, I’m working on a research paper about Iceland’s economic collapse, and it’s somewhat humorous to read the predictions made by distinguished economists from just a couple years back. Take this one from 2006, posted on the Icelandic consulate’s website:

“Recent volatility in Iceland’s asset markets has raised concerns about the fragility of Iceland’s economy,” comment Frederic S. Mishkin and his co-author Tryggvi T. Herberrtsson in their report, “Financial Stability in Iceland.” But these concerns, particularly those that raise comparisons with certain financial issues in emerging market countries, are “misguided.”

Ha! Oh, that reminds me. I have to go get a visa from that consulate … whoops.