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Shopping in Greenland

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Students on Ice / WWF-Canon

Since our arrival in this country, we’ve discovered a new culture and a new language – because few people speak English, we’ve learned some useful words, like how to say hello and thank you in Greenlandic. I practice my ‘thank you’ whenever it is needed: qujanaq, pronounced ‘Kru-Ya-Nak’. Half the time, it makes the locals laugh out loud! But I don’t despair. We always make ourselves understood for the important things (fueling, getting water, finding a grocery store, shower, etc..). People here are very friendly and smiling, and the assistance is appreciated in these isolated villages halfway around the world. Everyone takes the time to answer our questions in half-English, half-Greenlandic, half-sign language.

The biggest challenge for the crew takes place at the supermarket: stalls full of meat and fish all look equally delicious. Fishing is an important part of the country’s economy. The only problem: we have no idea what’s what! ‘Allatooq’, ‘eqaluk pujuugaq’ or ‘Tuttu’, the choice is yours! (based on our understanding, those translate to ‘seal’, ‘Muskox’ and the name of a delicious smoked fish that still eludes us to date). The crew is divided: Pascale has a soft spot for seal meat, Grant and I definitely vote for muskox. Note also that it is very easy to find whale on the menu here.

We return to the boat, get a few hours of sleep and it’s off to the north via the east side of Disko Island. A superb second day with full sun and a slalom between the icebergs. The coast of Disko Island is beautiful, we see even the Greenland ice cap. Heading out of the bay, we have a small setback: head wind and fog. So we make a last stop before Upernavik, in Arfertuassuk, a fjord that offers a quiet shelter for the night.

« Ice in Ilulissat, Greenland | Setting sail from Upernavik »

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