En Hyggelige By

Some colleagues have been writing a bit about cold places, with alarming naiveity. As a teenager I learnt to speak Danish whilst an exchange student in Odense. Danish is a useful second language in Greenland, because in 1721 European colonialism appeared when the Danish king sent Hans Egede on an expedition there.
Greenland was the setting for the recent film Eight Below, about sled dogs working in Antarctica. If you would like to know more about the old days in Antarctica, just ask some of my mates, like Grant Gillespie at Aoraki in NZ. Avalanche dogs are also fascinating to work with. In a proper rescue setting they can identify buried bodies faster than an expert with a transceiver. The analogy with professional theory is fully intended. Who knows what will happen the day after tomorrow? Speaking of the cold, the iceberg below was visible from the shore of the South Island just the other day. Nothing to do with recent global warming, because it takes many decades for them to drift so far north.

5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    L. Riofrio said,

    HI Kea: Your posts on climate are always interesting. I saw EIGHT BELOW on the plane from the US, then saw one of those 8-wheeled things at the Antarctic meeting. July 12 post They tell me of an “Antarctic world” attraction in NZ where you can also ride one. We are winning.

  2. 2

    Kea said,

    Hi Louise

    Yes, I remember that post. The ride you mention is in Christchurch, the home town of my university.

  3. 3

    Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said,

    11 20 06

    Those damnable gutterals in Danish are hard for me to pronounce. How long did it take you to master that pronounciation?

  4. 4

    CarlB said,

    If Denmark has cookies as good as the (Netherlands made) Speculaas that people here in Curacao buy to give to their US relatives, then I’ll be sure to include Denmark when I visit Europe someday.

  5. 5

    Kea said,

    Heh, Mahndisa! Back then it was no problem – kids find languages easy. Now, however, I would really struggle! Actually, the sound people find the hardest is the ‘ood’ ending, which is a subtle vowel together with a completely unfamiliar consonant.

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