At Nuuk’s Barista Web Cafe, a Chance to Catch Up

We are comfy in an internet cafe called Barista in downtown Nuuk. This little cafe with 36 computers has excellent lattes and upstairs the computers are all arranged four to a table with the flat screens facing out on all four sides. I am more than a bit flumuxed over the fact that does not seem to be up, but I remain hopeful that this is due to my location here in Greenland…and that the rest of the world can still read our stories and search for our fares.

In Nuuk, like in most of this country, it snows on and off all of the time. You look out the window and all of a sudden there is a terrific snowstorm, blowing sideways. Then a few minutes later all is clear again. We toured the cultural museum and got a chance to learn about the long history here, settled on and off for 4500 years. During World War II, the country was run by the Allies, and 14 bases were built here. Today only one, far north in Thule, remains. But the impact of all of those soldiers forever changed this place…soon people began chewing Wrigleys juicy fruit gum, and listening to rock music…and ordering from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.

We saw a sealskin coverall that proteced the Inuits from the wind and snow, completely waterproof, and they used these out in their open boats. Spending just a few minutes out on the deck of the boat we took to tour Illulussat’s ice fjord makes you appreciate how hardy these early residents were. And today most of the boats are still in the water, covered with snow, and the people use them to visit neighbors and go fishing even when it is below zero.

At the airport we met a pretty young woman who said she loved the hunt. She was wild about hunting seals, she loved the sport, the chase, the thrill of shooting and of course, like all Greenlanders, she loved to eat them. It is hard for us to fathom but that is the way of life and the custom that has never changed over the centuries.