City Life | 14 December 2009

Worlds fair and unfair: from Iceland and Ujamaa to Expo and East Timor

Elliot Wilson in Reykjavik

Mike, a commodities trader from Chicago, leans over the table in Reykjavik’s Prikid bar and almost whispers: ‘What’s the deal here? Where are the breadlines?’ Our group looks befuddled. An Icelandic playwright mock-whispers back: ‘What breadlines? Did you expect Reykjavik to be full of bakeries?’ No, retorts Mike, but didn’t Iceland declare bankruptcy a year ago? So why isn’t everyone sleeping on the streets?

It’s not an unreasonable question.

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