At the edge of the huge parking lot of the largest power strip mall in Iceland, out in the Grafavogur neighborhood, ground water pouring out of the newly dynamited terrain freezes into pretty little ice sculptures. The stores, Toys 'R' Us, ILVA, Rúmfatalagerinn and The Pier, are essentially empty, though, after a year's worth of hype surrounding, among other things, their massive square footage. A woman working at ILVA, an IKEA-style furniture store recently gone bankrupt in Great Britain, told me that industrious Faroe Islanders had bought the franchise, as well as the entire strip mall, without leveraging any other capital. A clean purchase, she said, not based on stocks or futures or ridiculously lofty loans. Good on them!
The Faroe Islands are the new black.