10 Things I didn’t know about Greenland…

10 Things I didn’t know about Greenland…

…until I moved to Nuuk, Greenland.

Did you know that Greenland is the largest island on our lovely planet that’s full of ice and glaciers?  Sure, that’s what Greenland IS known for, one big massive chunk of ice in the middle of the Arctic. But did you know that it’s similar to Alaska? That’s an opinion of course from yours truly, but it is similar in so many ways. Also, here are more tidbits of what I didn’t know about Greenland until I moved and lived here.  

Did you know:

  1. Tourism is hugeI didn’t realize this until I became a local.  I would go shopping and there were suddenly all these new faces in the summertime.  It’s less in the winter but there is still a consistent flow of people coming to Nuuk, GL from all over the world.  Further, Nuuk is like an international melting pot of people that live here as well.  I know Spanish, Italian, Flipino, British, Indian and even Australian people that have moved here.  It’s an exciting time to be here and meet people from all over the world. 
  2. Effective transportation.  No car?…no problem.  The bus system will show up rain or shine, sleet or crazy sideways-blowing-you-down blizzard, the bus will show up. I’ve literally experienced the bus being on time in the craziest weather, they are that reliable. 
  3. Most people are trilingual, especially kids (because of social media, Netflix and Youtube, etc.). Greenlandic, Danish, and English are the major languages spoken and not necessarily in that order. But mainly, people are either Inuit Greenlandic or Danish and/or a happy mix of both. 
  4. There are barely any trees….like no trees in Nuuk. Although I’ve heard of some trees in Southern Greenland.  But unless they are planted here, there are no trees in Nuuk. 
  5. The healthcare system is not great. Unfortunately, it lacks a unified system that is user-friendly.   If you want to be seen here by a doctor, you have to call into a system with limited hours.  I called at 8:00 AM (when they open) and ended up being #98 in the call queue, waiting for two hours only to be cut off as I waited on hold when I was #9.  Most people just say to go to ER if you need to be seen.  I went for birth control and was turned away.  It’s a pretty broken healthcare system. 
  6. People LOVE their futbold (soccer).  Now I don’t really pay attention to futbold but I’ve seen some pretty die-hard fans in their cars and bars.  On game days you will find people packed into the bars to watch the game with full team jerseys on and later, if their team won, they will honk loudly as they are driving down the street.  It’s a funny sight to see. 
  7. Trump wasn’t the first to try to buy Greenland.  Oddly enough, Truman wanted to buy Greenland in 1946 for all its natural resources.  I think it’s funny how people think that they ‘can’ just buy a country like its prime real estate that is up for sale.  
  8. Nuuk is the biggest ‘city’ in Greenland and an International hub so it’s more international, modern, and diverse than you think.  But it’s still a ‘modern village’ to me as I’ve lived in other metropolitan places like San Francisco and Seattle, and this is small in comparison.  But it still holds its own charm and resilience for its amenities like walking streets, a mall, and cafes.  So you get the best of both worlds, modern city life, and rural subsistence life all in one place, in Nuuk,
  9. Fishermen are said to be the richest people because fishing is one of the main exports of Greenland.  Yes, fishermen make bank and they work seasonally.  
  10. Taxes cap at 44%.  This seems like a lot since I’m a wee bit skeptical as to what my taxes are actually going to exactly. But people can’t be taxed more than 44% period. 

Now ya know!  

If you would like to know more about my expat life in Greeland or just to work with me, contact me.

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