Dating Stories: The Icelandic Horse Lady

I got a Tinder match in Iceland. Not sure why. Maybe because my profile said, “Australian. Not your cousin.”

When we met she said, “Góðan dag.”

I said, “Ah, hello?”

She said, “Sorry, that just means ‘Hello’.”

I said, “Oh, well goon dog to you too.”

She had terrific English. Much better than mine. And the date was going well, I was feeling comfortable, until we started talking about the differences between Australia and Iceland.

She said, “The horses in Iceland are very special. They do a stride no other horse does naturally. It’s called a tolt.”

I said, “A trot?”

She said, “No, tolt. You would call it prancing, but no other horse does it naturally. They have to learn it.”

I said, “That’s bullshit. Icelandic horses don’t have a secret running style that no other horse understands naturally.”

She said, “Yes they do.”

I said, “No.”

She said, “Yes. It’s for muddy places. They walk, canter, trot and tolt.”

I said, “Well that’s just great. It’s about time horses evolved. Humans have been doing all the heavy lifting for hundreds of years. Inventing TVs and airline travel and wi-fi. Why don’t other animals do something for a change. Horses here tolt? Good for them. How about turtles? Why don’t turtles evolve. They’re lumbering around, expecting to be saved by humans. Sure they’ve got their home on their backs, but who cares? I could buy a motor home, it’s basically the same thing. Turtles don’t even know how to run. Horses in Iceland have four running styles, apparently. And what about Mexican walking fish. They haven’t evolved for hundreds and thousands of years. It’s like they’re my grand-mother. She still doesn’t know what the internet is.”

My date said, “Axolotl.”

I said, “No her name’s Dolores.”

She said, “No, axolotl is the correct name for the Mexican walking fish.”

I said, “Oh, good to know.”

She said, “You’re mocking me.”

I said, “No. They’re amazing creatures. I wish I owned one.”

Back at home Mum said, “You’ve gotten a date 200,000 kilometres away and you’re insulting her?”

I said, “No. She lives 16,980 kilometres away, actually. If she lived 200,000 kilometres away she’d be living halfway to the moon. I can’t date someone floating in mid-space.”

Mum said, “I wish you would.”

I said, “And I wasn’t insulting her. I was just saying horses there haven’t created a different stride.”

My date wasn’t embracing the discussion. She said, “Ӕ haltu kjafti.”

I didn’t know what that meant. I found out it meant ‘Oh shut up’, but I took a guess and said, “Do you want an other drink?”

She said, “Nei.”

Right then a New Zealander came into the bar. He’d hired a horse from some stables and wanted to show everyone this amazing running step the horse could do.

I thought it was weird that he’d brought a horse into the centre of Reykjavik, but my date was all for it. She went outside and got a horseback ride down the main street. Prancing the whole way together. So that’s good for them.

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