Photo: Greenland Travel

12 Things Us Greenlandics Always Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Greenland Student Work
by Tina Egede Jan 25, 2016

1. No, you cannot drive to the next city.

The country is big but we have only 57,000 people and 13 towns. You can imagine how far the next city is. Buy a plane ticket or take the Friday ship.

2. We don’t care about McDonalds, 7-Eleven, or Starbucks.

Greenland is still yet been untouched by franchise companies. Go to a regular store with a Greenlandic name and I’m sure they have what you need.

3. We will stare at you.

Tourists are a sort of entertainment for us, because we are curious who is crazy enough to come here and visit.

4. Be cool when you see a person walking with a rifle on his back.

We go hunting for reindeer, seal, musk ox and other delicious animals with a rifle, and sometimes we go to stores right before we go into nature. Deal with it.

5. Not all Greenland is made of ice.

I understand Greenland seems to be covered only in glaciers when you look at it on a map, but we also have mountains and plant life on the coast.

6. Everything you probably need is in walking distance.

You don’t need a car to go a store or to meet up with someone. If you want a ride, the public bus can take you to the furthest place you’re probably going in just 20 minutes.

7. Imported goods are always expensive.

Understand that if you want anything other than Greenlandic food, it’s imported from another country — especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Just eat more meat while you’re here.

8. You will not run into a polar bear or musk ox.

There’s actually a reason they are called wild animals. They live in the wild and not in city where you probably are.

9. You just might have to go explore the city yourself.

Tour guides are hard to find if you don’t know a local who is willing to show you around and it doesn’t happen to be tourist season. The tourist season is usually in August but don’t exactly expect this to be Phuket, Thailand, where foreigners take over the streets.

10. You can’t wear your shorts and tank tops in the summer in Greenland.

Please look at a map and notice how far north you are.

11. Alcoholic drinks have closing hours.

From Monday through Friday the sale of alcohol is from 9am to 6pm. On Saturday from 9am to 1pm and there’s no sales on Sunday. So, if you want wine for your dinner, you better check your watch and know what day it is.

12. Kaffemik is an open house.

If you are lucky to meet a local and get invited to a kaffemik, a celebration such as birthday or wedding, which usually is held at the home of the host, you can come any time you want and leave whenever you feel like it. And of course, eat until you can’t eat anymore because the main reason for kaffemiks is to offer food and drinks to the guests.

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