Still hoping, still waiting, still wishing and keeping the faith

McCarthy's Musings: Greenland Day Two

James McCarthy | Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
March 6, 2016
Walter Strong/NNSL photo The 2018 AWG host society in Yellowknife before departing for Nuuk on March 4, 2016.

Walter Strong/NNSL photo
The 2018 AWG host society in Yellowknife before departing for Nuuk on March 4, 2016.

So… we were supposed to be in Nuuk by now.

Thanks to the weather, Walter Strong and I have enjoyed the quaint town of Kangerlussuaq for a second day. We were supposed to get out of here at 4:05 p.m. local time but those plans have been scuppered.

We’re now set to depart (again) at midnight, meaning we’re missing the opening ceremony.

Guess I shouldn’t be surprised about anything anymore when it comes to Greenland.

Now, I’m not saying anything bad about the people here in Kangerlussuaq because they have been absolutely amazing. If any community deserved a collective medal in hospitality, it’s Kangerlussuaq.

No matter where you go, the people here have tried their damnedest to make sure it happens. You need food? It’s there. You need a place to stay? Here’s a room. You need a lift somewhere? No problem.

Speaking of rooms, Walter and I lucked out big time and managed to get a hotel room here at the airport, all thanks to the 2018 Arctic Winter Games host society and Brad Mapes, the mayor of Hay River. The hotel here managed to block off rooms for the host society and His Worship found us wandering aimlessly around the airport and offered us one of those rooms.

If it weren’t for that, we would be sleeping on a foam mattress in a school common area. There’s a story around getting the foam mattress out of the shrink wrap and I’m sure if you find Greg Rowe, he’ll tell you all about it. In short, Shari Olsen of Fort Smith made me look like an idiot when she unwrapped hers in about 10 seconds. Took me almost five minutes. When you’re losing a fight with shrink wrap, you know your day isn’t going well.

Thankfully, I didn’t have that problem in the end because nothing beats waking up and knowing you have your own shower and a TV to help keep your sanity. Sure, there’s only 11 channels on the TV and one of them is CNN (annoying enough, especially Richard Quest) but at least it’s in English.

Best part was watching CNN talk about Donald Trump’s manhood. Guess you need a big pair to run these days.

Anyway, to Mr. Mapes and the host society, a huge thanks to you as well.

Team NWT started arriving today and it was nice to see some familiar faces. Of course, they were happy to see us as well and several showed their appreciation by asking us to take photos outside the airport. There’s a post outside the cafeteria with signs leading to all sorts of major international centres and if you’ve ever seen the show M*A*S*H, you’ll know what I’m talking about. What was funny was listening to all of them say how cold they were standing outside.

You’re Northerners, for the love of Yamal. Punch through it. Not like we don’t have -10C in the NWT.

Still haven’t seen any Nunavummiut and we won’t here because they all get to fly direct from Iqaluit. Considering the pickle we’re in right now, flying into Iqaluit would have been a great option.

As for the Russians, they still look like they lost their dog. Honestly, don’t these people have anything to smile about? Even when they pull pranks on each other, it’s done with a dour look. I was walking back to my room last night after doing some emergency shopping last night when a couple decided it would be a good idea to play nicky-nicky-nine-doors around the 2000 block of the hotel.

No laughing. Just knocked and ran. How depressing.

For some reason, one of the big attractions here is climbing the rather large mountain beside the airport. Right now, I’m staring at some silly nimrods from Northern Alberta trying their luck at scaling the peak. Honestly, most of us are going stir-crazy but I’m not at the point yet where mountain climbing looks like fun. Besides, I have Danish cooking shows to watch. Funny thing about that is listening to them speak reminds me of the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.

When you next hear from us, we will be on the ground in Nuuk doing our best to bring you the best coverage around. No one covers the Arctic Winter Games like we do.
While we’re there, of course.