Photo: Kedardome/Shutterstock

8 Things the Greenlandic Love to Hate

by Tina Egede Nov 22, 2014
1. Losing our jobs to the Danish

Since 1814, when Danish people colonized in Nuuk, they have been moving up here. The Danish actually make up approximately one quarter of the capital’s population. And that’s a big number. Let’s face it, Danish people have much more opportunity for professional experience back in Denmark. So when they come here, they qualify for better jobs than us. Sometimes we Greenlandic are even expected to speak Danish in our own country. But we’ve been living here longer than them — we deserve those jobs!

2. Not being able to buy alcohol whenever we want

Monday through Friday, you can’t buy alcohol after 6pm. On Saturday, you can only buy until 1pm. There is not one minute that you can buy alcohol on a Sunday. It’s ridiculous. We’re forced to buy alcohol on Friday afternoon, before we’ve even decided if we’re going to party or not.

And the prices! A case of 30 bottles in Denmark costs 100 DKK. In Greenland, 20 bottles cost about 200 DKK. They really make it difficult for us to drink. There are some communities that have problems with alcohol abuse, some have made it a law that you can’t buy any over 15% potency. So maybe the restrictions are a good thing in some places. But, no, we still hate it.

3. Delays and more delays that happen almost every day

We have very few transportation options when we want to visit other cities in Greenland. It’s usually either plane or ship. We have no roads between cities because and our cities are scattered everywhere with many miles in between. For instance, the capital Nuuk’s closest neighbor city, Maniitsoq, is 148-kilometers away.

Greenland is not a place of sunny and hot days. We have very unpredictable weather that can change a sunny day into a rain or snowstorm. And even if the city you’re in has sun, there’s a big chance that the one you want to get to has a storm. So always buy a green ticket.

4. The complete lack of products in our stores

Greenland’s environment can’t support fruit-and-vegetable trees, so all of our produce comes from Denmark. And it’s not uncommon for a store to just run out of something and be unable to get it back for awhile. You know that feeling when you think all day about a dish you want to make for dinner? You crave it so much that it doesn’t matter how expensive it will be to make. And the store just runs out of the crucial ingredient. In some Greenlandic cities, it can take up to three months for something to come back into stock. And the fewer the products are, the more expensive they get.

5. When it rains in winter

The rain falls differently here in Greenland than any other country. In Denmark or the States, big drops of rain fall vertically to the ground. It’s not that easy here. In Greenland, the raindrops are small and fall from right to left, making the air humid and melting all the snow. And what do you get the day after? Icy roads and people doing ninja moves everywhere.

6. When large insects just show up all of a sudden

Just….ew. Greenland is located in the arctic where trees can’t even grow because of our hard and frozen ground. It’s definitely not a place for insects to thrive. We don’t see many except for mosquitoes, flies and the occasional spider — no bigger than your fingernail. But sometimes in summer, something like a cockroach will appear and gross us out. They probably come over on ships or planes from other countries. Oh man, you will never see an uglier face than the one a Greenlandic makes when she sees a huge insect. She may scream.

7. Anything that’s run by the government

Where do I even begin with this? The doctor’s office is a real bitch to get a hold of, and when you finally do get them, there’s only a slight chance that they’ll give you their support and concern. The dental office opens early in the morning. If you want to get checked, you have to get in a line that started an hour before the doors even open. The student salary is way too low and the dorms have mold and other disgusting things growing in them. We know that we should be thankful because all of this stuff is free — doctor visits, dental visits, education — but we love to complain about it.

8. How short our summers are

Even though we love snow — the skiing, the making snowmen, the getting cozy with hot chocolate — we really enjoy our three-month summer. But three months? Sometimes it’s even less. We always remember the first summer day, when we can finally wear short trousers and just a t-shirt outside. We go hiking, boating, and fishing. Many of us travel to another city or even another country for summer break. But when we get back, it’s all rain and cold breezes. And it’s only August.

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