Marmite and Tea

A few weeks ago I found a shop in Reykjavík that sells Marmite! For anybody who wants to know, it is Pipar og Salt on the corner of Klapparstígur and Njálsgata. I was delighted. When I came to Iceland, I brought two consumables with me: Yorkshire Tea and Marmite. I have since had one shipment of teabags sent from my parents (not a smooth procedure - thanks Pósturinn), and one brought over by my brother. And a box also as a present from the father when he came back from a business trip abroad one time. The last was especially welcome, because I had literally just run out. I was feeling a bit frantic about the situation and he saved the day. 

This is odd, because not so long ago I really didn't like tea. I didn't start drinking it until the second year of university, when I was 19. It was because of an ill-fated attempt to give up coffee for Lent, and a complete failure to deal with the lack of caffeine. Even though it was because of the caffeine reliance that I thought it might be an idea to give up coffee for Lent, I told myself that if I just switched to tea I wouldn't really have failed. Now I drink coffee every now and again, but have a two-cups-a-day tea habit. And, as anyone who's ever been to Europe knows, it's really hard to source acceptable quality black tea. The bollocks they sell in the Icelandic supermarkets is not fit for animals. It probably is possible to get good tea somewhere here, but I have yet to discover it.

Marmite, on the other hand, is not really an addiction with me. I don't eat it every day, or even every week. But I do love it, and I would be sad if it wasn't in my life. Back in the beginning, when I'd just come to Iceland, if ever I felt a bit homesick I would go up and have a teaspoon of Marmite, or just smell it. I don't care if that makes me sound weird, Marmite is really comforting. Which is why I'm so happy to have found this shop, ensuring that I need never run out. Also it is an amusing thing to have around, because you can give it to Icelanders and watch their faces. One boy I gave it to actually spat the toast in the bin. Which is a bit rich coming from a national of the country that gave the world hákarl. Only one Icelander that I've given Marmite to has enjoyed it. I was very impressed.

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