Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sisimiut, Greenland

There's something about Greenlandic towns that fills me with...dark thoughts shall we say.

After settling in to the Seamen's Rest hotel, no alcohol allowed upon pain of expulsion, that I suddenly feel the need for a stiff drink or four. I walk past the tourist site's of the 'old town,' past a series of familiar faces from the ferry, and into the altogether less decorous heart of the second largest town in Greenland. Knots of pedestrians pass the other way, groups of teen moms pushing strollers, boys wearing their gangster hoodies and low riders, lost-looking Danes. No one meets my eye or returns my gaze except the drunks, who want to hold my hand and talk urgently about...something. I make it as far as the grocery store, hoping to sneak a late night beer back into the hotel, but I'm told no dice. No beer sales at 8 pm.


Instead I make my way to the much anticipated Chinese restaurant in town. I am shown to a dirty table, left to admire the trail of congealed fat and msg for 15 minutes, told the english language menu cannot be found, offered a danish one which sadly offers no clues beyond the tiny pictures printed inside.

I stand in the rain outside and try the menu pasted on the wall there, and randomly select a seafood soup and arctic char in coconut milk that prove to be suboptimal choices. The soup is a mammoth bowl of thin broth with lots of small shrimp, black eyes peering back at me, half a crab with no possibility of extraction beyond shredding it and my fingers on the shell, two scallops and some tasty by dubious fish balls. The char comes half an hour later and can only be described as disappointing. In the extreme.

I spend fifty bucks and the best part of the meal is sampling the leftovers from the germans at the next table. they had a very large fish, nicely spiced and barely touched, and the waitresses insisted that I try it. So I did. i should have had the damn thing wrapped up and taken to go.

On the way back I stop at the small boat pier and watch two boys playing soccer on the dock. With a fish. Kicking it back and forth until lifeless.

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