Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Qaqortoq e-mail extract

Ran up hill to hostel and back, have a couple more minutes to write. The library is very nice, people can drink coffee etc. here and most of the books have been rebound in a rainbow of nice colours. School is out but then kids seem to be wandering about the place most of the time. In Nuuk the school buses run all day, not just in the morning and afternoon but all day in between, and there are always kids going somewhere, or walking alone or in groups, in the most unlikely places, like way out by the airport, past the golf course (yes, there is one here, or rather, there!)

Tomorrow I have my first Air Greenland helicopter ride. Have already found the airport, by mistake, and confirmed my flight. Helicopters only, here, as in most of the small Greenlandic settlements. I may have to break off suddenly if the lady is ready to close the library.

In Greenlandic sentences are formed by adding more and more suffixes to just a few words, so the words are extremely long in print. People tend to read by running a finger along the line under the words. The purser on the ship handed out a questionnaire (not to me, it was only in Danish + Greenlandic) and all these elderly ladies were intently studying the first page, running a finger under the words. It seemed to take them a long time to read. The Danish lady at the hostel says this is typical. I have just had the librarian photocopy and article on the Greenlandic language issue for me from a new magazine called Greenland Today, new this year in Danish and English. Very interesting.

Much of the music on the radio sounds oddly like Radio Ceredigion, the Welsh middle-of-the-road stuff. I keep wondering why they aren't singing in Welsh! I have been eating kind of a lot of salami, at breakfast every day. I think I may get some pork chops tonight, for a change. Last week I got a slab of reindeer lasagne from the freezer deli section at the Brugsen supermarket in Nuuk. It was very good, made 3 portions. Sort of a more steak like hamburger.

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