World By Shotglass

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

WORLD BY SHOTGLASS CHAPTER 2: GREENLAND

World By  Shotglass
Chapter 2 :
Greenland
  • Location: North America
  • Capital: Nuuk
  • Language: Greenlandic, Danish, English
  • Population: 56,452
  • Total Area: 2, 166, 086  km2
  • Currency: The Danish Króne
  • Annual average liquor consumption per capita: 150-155 liters
  • Annual Beer Consumption Per Capita: 87,000 liters
  • The most popular drink: Royal Unibrew Lager Beer








The city

I have always wanted to find out if there is anything beyond the empty spaces on the world map, so I took a trip to Kulusuk ('The chest') part of southeastern Greenland with population of 286.  Greenland was discovered in ~962, and it is literally and figuratively frozen in time.  Ironically, time has no meaning in Greenland.  Sun hangs low in the horizon in the day and night for up for five months of the year if you travel far north, and you might as well leave your watch at home and enjoy the surrealistic colors of the land and its people.

The people

Population of Kulusuk has been on a decreasing trend throughout the years and now is just under 300 people.  It is a mix between Danes and natives, who gifted us words such as
kayak, anorak and igloo.  Danes seem to hold all of the key roles in the Village such as a nurse, policemen, and a Lutheran priest.  Danes have also built a church that is smacked in a middle of blue icebergs and colorful huts.  It was an unfortunate accident that they could not sail away because of the weather and used their ship as a building material and erect a testament to a Lutheran faith and a main tourist attraction.  There is no running water in any of the houses or the church, but the upside of living in Kulusuk is a high speed internet and generous unemployment system sponsored by Danish government. 

Drinking


Greenland has no official legal age for drinking, but it is also nearly impossible to find a bar.  The only one I found was inside "Hotel Kulusuk" and the bartender also doubled as receptionist.  He aptly mentioned that you might die of a frost bite if you get lost on a way home, so it is better to drink where you stay.  There is certainly enough space to get lost with an average per person of 39 sq km. 

Games

Kids in Kulusuk enjoy something much more precious than silly bandz, Nintendo or IPod.  They have a total freedom to do as they please without any adult supervision or intervention.  It is a stark contrast to the modern day kids surrounded by electronic devices and insane parents trying to control every minute of their wake time.  The kids in Kulusuk freely run the streets of the village without any supervision or even a mobile phone.  They follow the jeep around hoping to get a ride.  There is no threats outside of the cold weather and occasional arctic fox lurking by.  Even the sense of competitiveness appears to be completely absent.  The sports that the kids indulge in when the weather allows are a version of a soccer on ice, but winning or losing is hardly an object.  Greenland thus far was unable to become a part of FIFA as it can't grow grass. 

Driving

There are no roads connecting cities and to travel one needs to have a boat or plane/helicopter.  On June 1st, the main unpaved road of Kulusuk was cleared of snow, mountains of which remained at 20 feet high on both sides of the road.  I have not seen a single pedestrian crossing or a traffic light or a dedicated snowmobile lines. 























































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