First impressions: Nuuk is in another time, another space

I’ve flown into an alternate universe called Nuuk where the surreal is reality.

Time has stopped. Having never dreamed that I would ever live so close to an enormous fjord, it’s also a pleasant surprise to discover that I can watch icebergs float slowly by while sitting on my balcony. I’m surrounded by great mountain peaks that loom over the city.

A mountain behind Qinngorputt. Literally my backyard

A mountain behind Qinngorputt. Literally my backyard.

Although it’s technically springtime, it’s still minus two degrees Celcius. The sun is shining so brightly, however, that I’m more often hot than cold. Come 19.30, there is still fading light. Oh Summer, when you arrive bursting with Brightness, I will probably miss your friend Darkness.

Icebergs float by

Icebergs float by all year round, and there are so many types of ice!

The great expanse of nature is really felt here. The city covers more space than one thinks since there are fjords, mountains and streams peppering the landscape. Small as the population is, it does feel somewhat like a big city since the folk don’t really say hello or smile at strangers. Everyone does know everyone, though, and one can have thousands of friends on Facebook.

Clusters of houses form a part of Nuuk

Clusters of houses form a part of Nuuk.

I conjure up the image that life in Nuuk will be a fishbowl, where you can only go around and around, taking new delight in subtle change and what’s been seen before. The mountains are the periphery, limitless yet so limiting. Yet regarding the social fabric, things are changing, and rapidly too.


Life in Nuuk seems still.

Do the Greenlandic people ever wish they had wings? Did they ever dream they could fly over the mountains, since they cannot drive beyond Nuuk? There are no roads, and one can only fly or sail. Or you could try climbing, but I’ve already pushed my limits – today I had to climb like a goat to visit the Strange Dane’s friend who lives up on a treacherous icy hill. I didn’t fall, but I would rather skydive.

Snow you probably don't want to slide down!

Normal terrain: icy slide – probably a bit dangerous!

I’ve come to Nuuk reading and hearing a lot about the place, but somehow I feel that all my preconceptions will be challenged. It’s such a contradictory society in many ways. I’m curious to see how I settle in, and hope that I can somehow fit in. For the moment though, I can take comfort in the fact that if I’m unemployed for a long time and bored brainless, I have a lovely apartment to stay in with a stunning view of the city. I shouldn’t forget that I’ll be with my love, and that I’ll do things I will have never done otherwise.

Sunset by my apartment

Sunset by my apartment. It was mostly set up by the time I had arrived, as the Strange Dane moved in two weeks before.

Looking towards the future!


18 thoughts on “First impressions: Nuuk is in another time, another space

  1. Hi Tanny, congratulations on your writing! I can really feel you and how much you’ve learned from your experiences.. I know this is isn’t what your blog’s about, but I’d like to go live in Greenland, and was wondering if you had some information about job posts for foreigners, or things the community needs for which people from other countries come in handy.

    • Dear Chuy,
      Thanks for your kind post! Actually I think many people who come by my blog seem to have an interest in living here. =)

      I wrote a post about moving to Greenland and opportunities here, I think you should start there: =)

      Actually, in many ways the rhetorics are polar opposites. Many people do not like foreigners in coming in and taking jobs – even jobs that the Greenlanders don’t want such as cleaning and waitering roles. They are mostly taken by the Phillipinos in Nuuk. Yet, there is a need for highly educated and skilled people to work in Greenland. It is of course better if they had local people, and they will always hire Greenlanders where possible however there is still space for more people, it would seem. The economic crisis has hit Greenland quite late, so there is a higher unemployment rate at this point making tensions quite high.

      Does this help with your question Chuy?

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  5. You will be focused in what you do and what you see. Your photography should improve, as a result! I’d certainly enjoy a short stay there….lovely post!

    • Hi Janina, Thanks for your comment! A short stay would be very easy, it is a beautiful and fascinating city. I’m looking at staying here for longer. We shall see what opportunity arises. and yes, it’s time I started using the real camera again, instead of photos like these taken with the smart phone =)

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