What no one tells you about moving to Greenland

Moving to Greenland

That you can transport all of your life’s belongings with you if you get a job that comes with housing. There are less companies who have this option now, but a significant number of jobs that offer this perk.

That houses here are rented out without a dishwasher and fridge. This one is for the Danes, who normally have these appliances included in their rentals. So if you have the chance, bring along your existing dishwasher and fridge. (Better than in Germany, where you have to bring your own kitchen with you!)

That no one ever checks for ID at the pub. At least, not even when you are ‘young looking’ like me. Maybe because everyone looks young since Greenlanders are the cousins of Asians.

That there’s no such thing as cheap wine, but that expensive wine is reasonably priced. And so is Baileys. So bring other alcohol along with you!

That 2.9 kilos of Quality Street chocolate will cost you $A100 (as of Dec 2015 the cost of sweets and non-smoking tobacco and fireworks are taxed much more heavily).

That you have to ask to get anything. Normally people don’t dish out information on a platter, so if you need to find out something follow up. Even asking for directions, since there are hardly any signs in Greenland (this will change in Nuuk with the Arctic Winter Games in 2016).

That giant mosquitoes will irritate you for a month during the summer.

That it’s actually warm here in the summer time. You can get by with t-shirt and shorts on the warmer days, although when there are giant mosquitoes so you may opt to cover up anyway.

That winter is for eight months of the year (to someone from the tropics). And that you’re probably going to be warmer indoors in Greenland, than indoors in winter in Australia.

That in Greenland, autumn means the beginning of the snow season. Winter and spring are white. And summertime is when the snow melts. So I guess it’s only summer and winter, really.

That the main way people get a regular doctor appointment in Greenland is by ringing between 8.15 – 8.30 in the morning. You can also get online advice at doktor.gl, but you won’t be able to get an appointment. If you ring in you will be in queue for at least half an hour. And you won’t have a regular doctor.

That healthcare is free here. Actually lots of things are free here.

This is so that you can spend all of your money on kaffemiks, and coffee.

That Greenlanders enjoy a rather slapstick humour where they make fun of you. If you fall down from your bike and hurt yourself, they will laugh at you (unless it is very serious). You’re expected to laugh, too.

That there is a higher threshold of acceptance with sex-related jokes in the workplace. Americans, beware 😉

Got any other points? Do share!

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