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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Best Worst Day of the Trip or Diary Supplemental

Mykel's Journey to The North
Supplemental Entry: 

The Best Worst Day of The Trip
by Mykel Board

CAPTAIN'S LOG STARDATE 23 September 2016... Supplemental:


Blog entry 8 will introduce you to Inuaraq, my couch-surfing host here in Aasiaat. Right now you only need to know that he's a musician (quite well-known in the country) and an Eskimo. (Western hemisphere language police require INUIT... but the locals don't care.)

I've just arrived back on the ferry from DISKO Island. You'll read about that adventure later. First, I need to get this one out... while its still fresh in my ever more senile mind.

Inuaraq's house is close to the port/ferry terminal. Straight ahead from the boat... across the street and up the wooden staircase. It's a massive blue house, over-looking the harbor. You can see whales from his living room window.

Inuaraq gave me a key to the house, so I can let myself in... the lower entrance... closer to the room I'm staying in. I take off my shoes, as they do in Greenland.. and Japan... and France... and in an increasing number of places around the world. I enter “my” room and hear a shuffling upstairs.

A voice: Are you there?

Yes,” I shout back, “I just got back.”

Come upstairs,” says Inuaraq, “dinner is ready.”

It's muskox fajita: heated tortillas, salad, ready for self-folding. No hot peppers... but this is NOT Mexico. Best muskox fajita I've ever had.

You want a beer?” asks Inuaraq.

No, I hate beer,” I don't say.

Sure,” I say. “What goes better with fajita?”

He laughs and brings me my first beer of the evening. I finish dinner, showing my satisfaction with escaping gas... fore and aft.

Sounds like you're ready for another one,” says Inuaraq.

Before I can agree, a second Carlsberg is on the table in front of me. Inuaraq gets one for himself, and we toast to Greenland, Eskimos and Aasiaat. Cheers in Greenlandic, by the way is KAZUTA!

The second beer disappears even more quickly than the first.

I guess there's a beer surplus in town, because when I've finished that one... Inuaraq is on cue with another. He prefers a glass. Me? I'm a bottle drinker.

One more... then it's time to go to bed. Not that I have to do anything special tomorrow, though I do want to contact a great Eskimo lady I met at the local Tourist Information Center. Turns out she's Inuaraq's cousin. I want to ask her to rub noses with me. That's one of my goals in Greenland... to rub noses with an Eskimo.

After emptying the last beer, I slam the empty bottle down on the table... beer drinker talk for That's all she wrote.

Inuaraq gets it immediately.

Last one?” he asks.

I nod.

Okay, then get dressed... we're going out,” he says.

Where are we going?” I ask.

To a bar,” he says, “the one I was telling you about. The one we plan to overtake.”

You mean take over,” I say.

He nods.

Can we see it now?” I ask. “Isn't it abandoned or something?”

He shakes his head.

No,” he says, “it's just a regular bar. We plan to overta... er... take over next year and turn it into a music bar. Come and take a look at it.”

It's pitch black outside. I'd been hoping for an aurora, but so far none on this trip. Inuaraq leads me via cellphone flashlight through “a shortcut”... over ice-covered rocks, up and down rickety wooden staircases, across unlit streets. I think we're walking in a straight line from the house... any barriers... we just climb over them. A pair of very slippery boulders in the way... we climb them... a rickety wood stair case... we climb it... swamp grass next to a highway guard rail... over we go. Over to the other side of the “highway”.., there it is: TULUGAQ.... it means raven. And it's a bar. Here's the local airport ad for it:

It's around 10pm. There are fewer than a dozen patrons. The bartender is a rotund Danish-looking guy. Grey hair and beard... could be a bartender anywhere in the world. Inuaraq speaks to him in Danish. Two beers appear on the bar in front of us. Inuaraq pays for them.

Min Dansk er ikke ret god,” I tell the bartender. “Kan vi snakke på Engelsk?”

Sure,” he says, “English is fine with me.”

He looks like a story-teller. He is a story teller. Telling about his hotels in Illuset and his other property here and there and how he can't wait to give up this bar... It's just too much at his age.... His wife is annoyed that he's away from home so much.

Two more beers come.

An Eskimo-looking guy-- tough oriental face, hint of a mustache, thinner than most of the Inuit persuasion-- comes into the bar and sits next to Inuaraq. It's unclear whether they know each other but they strike up a conversation... in Greenlandic.

Inuaraq tells me the guy is from Illuset and he's been hunting. He just shot 3 caribou,,, two of them died instantly, but one was hit “in a bad place.” So the hunter had to kill it by hand. He couldn't shoot it because that might scare any other approaching animal. So he slit the beast's throat... then sliced through the back of the neck to cut the head off. He says he has a video, but doesn't know if I'm... er.

I don't know the English word,” says Inuaraq.

Check squeamish in the dictionary,” I suggest.

He does.

Yep,” that's it.

No,” I tell him. “I'm not squamish.”

I order three more beers. Give one to Inuaraq, one to the hunter, and keep one for myself. I pay for this round.

Sitting at the end of the bar is a rather chubby girl, wearing an orange INUIT t-shirt. Nice design-- and I want to make conversation. Maybe get my chance to rub noses.

Nice t-shirt,” I tell her.

Thank you,” she says and smiles like a heart-breaker. She tells me her name... which I immediately forget. I tell her mine. Inuaraq taps me on the shoulder.

The focus returns to the hunter. Here's the video: A snow-covered field... two dead caribou, one other... bleeding from the side... raising and lowering its antlered head... Big doe eyes looking pleadingly as the hunter lifts that head and plunges a long knife into the spine. Then, he again plunges in the knife... slicing around, snow turning red... a full view into the throat of the almost dead animal. Like a medical textbook...Wow!

This is it! It's why I travel. I can see buildings and landscapes in photos. But I can't meet the people. I can't see saftig girls in INUIT t-shirts. I can't see homemade videos of silent caribou killings. Yes! Yes! Yes! This is exactly it! My best night in Greenland. Better than rubbing noses.

By now, I'm completely plastered. Six... or is it seven... bottles of beer in two hours. I close my eyes and begin to drift off in thoughts of bloody caribou and the terrific beer-shit I'm going to have tomorrow morning. I'm not sure I can walk.

One more for the trip home,” says Inuaraq, putting a 200 krona note on the bar. The bartender gives us one each.

We talk more about caribou hunting. I show I'm a member of the tribe... dropping big words like rifle and antler. Oh yeah, I'm in on the hunt. We three promise-- next time I'm in Greenland-- to take a hunting trip together. We shake hands. The hunter and I are almost teary in our parting. What an adventure... a drunken night with the locals... as local as you can get. Pure non-tourism, THIS is what I travel for. Oh yeah.

The only problem right now is figuring out how to stand up. The bar has started to swirl around me. The bartender has begun to look less like a bartender and more like a polar bear. I feel a pressure in my bladder, but can't get the energy to trek around the corner to the men's room. Even if I could manage that, I'm sure-- after opening my fly-- I'd be unable to find what I'm looking for.

Okay Mykel,” says Inuaraq, “shall we go back?”

I nod... I think. The trip back is a blur. Maybe we teleport. I can't remember one second between leaving the bar and arriving back downstairs where “my” room is. It's about 1PM, Iguess.

I'm ready to pass out when I hear a clumping on the spiral staircase that leads from upstairs to downstairs. It's Inuaraq.

Do you mind if I invite two girls over?” he asks.

Do what you like,” I say. “But I'm drunk. I've got to go to sleep.”

Ok, Mykel,” he says. “See you tomorrow.. ah... today.”

See you,” I say, closing the door and dropping onto the bed, fully-clothed-- except for my boots. How I found those, let alone removed them-- I don't know. I wonder if I'll be able to find them in the morning.

4AM: The pressure in my bladder awakes me... at least I think it's the pressure in my bladder... It could be the noise upstairs. It sounds like a political debate... two loud male voices... the a female's screaming laugh... more voices... another scream. I'm gonna have to walk into the middle of this. In a contest between embarrassing myself and relieving my bladder-- the bladder wins, every time.

I check to see that my pants are really still on. They are.

I pad upstairs and see the gang at the diningroom table. There is Inuaraq, two pretty Eskimo girls, a big guy I've never seen before, another guy who
may have been in the bar (not the hunter)-- and the fat girl with the Inuit t-shirt.

I wave to them and head to relieve myself. On the way to the bathroom, I trip over a case half-filled with beer. No doubt it started all-filled.

From inside the bathroom, the noise is louder now. There's some kind of sing-a-long... in Greenlandic... top of the lungs... everybody knows the words. A boisterous, drunken choral... a roof-raising worthy of a German beer-hall.

Downstairs, the sound is slightly muffled... no it's not... it echoes off the hard wood... rings like a church choir. I scramble for my toiletry kit. There are a pair of earplugs there. I'm sure.

No there aren't. There is ONE earplug.

I shove it in... deep as it will go. I pile pillows on the bed, put my plugless ear against them...pull the blanket over my head And fall asleep... Yeah right.

6AM Gunshots interrupt my attempts to doze. BANG! Laughter. BANG! More laughter. I drift from semi-consciousness to full. BANG! BANG! Okay, I'll clean up the blood later. Right now, I need to get to sleep.

8AM Again awakened by my bladder. I debate getting up. The bladder, as always wins. It's quiet now. No sounds. I go upstairs and it's empty. No blood, no bullet casings. On the table is a YATZHI pad and dice. THAT was the BANG! BANG! The sound of dice being slammed on the table.

I can see into two of the three upstairs bedrooms... they're empty. The bathroom door is closed... from inside I hear the sound of running water. I'm guessing Inuaraq is trying to shower off the night's excesses. I'll give him some time.

8:15AM I try again, same sound from the bathroom. Sounds like a long shower... with a strange lack of movement.

8:30 AM I try again. The same sound. It doesn't seem like anyone is moving under the shower. The shisssssh of the water is steady... and unbroken stream. I knock on the door. No answer. I try the handle. It's locked. My bladder's gonna explode. I'm gonna die.

9 AM This is it. Do or die. Back to the silent upstairs. Everything's the same. Door locked. Water sound. Otherwise... er... the sound of silence. I don't know what to do. There are no trees in this whole country. Where can I piss outside?

I walk through the house, tracing where I think the bathroom is. Behind it, is the laundry room... makes sense because they both need water pipes. There's a window... not to the outside, but, from what I figure, to the bathroom. It's open... probably to let out the shower steam and the smell of beer shits.

The window is way above my head. There's no way I can look through it... or is there? Maybe if I climb on the washing machine, then lean way over to the left-- I can see something.

I put my palms on the washing machine and boost myself up. I see a bit of the bathroom. I can see a wall rack, and a piece of the floor. Water sloshes on the other side of the window. On the floor, lying on his side-- apparently naked-- at least from the nipples up... that's all I can see... is Inuaraq. Unmoving, as the water splashes over him. Skin pale. He's dead. Alcohol poisoned... the shower water washing away his death liquids.

Damn, I'm dealing with the first corpse in my travel career-- human corpse, that is. We're not counting caribou. Think fast. What needs to be done? I know what's most important.

I run downstairs past my bedroom... to the recycle room. There, placed neatly in a box on the floor... are various jars, bottles, other glass containers. Here's a juice bottle... maybe a little small, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

I piss into it. Just make it without overflowing. Ahhh.

I screw the lid on, put on my jacket, take it outside to try to find a place to hide it. I don't want the cops to find a bottle of piss and start asking questions. I put on my coat, and walk outside, piss-bottle in hand. I walk onto the wooden porch. Shit, there's someone coming up the stairs. I gotta ditch this sucker now.


I throw it under the staircase, where it probably lies to this day.

Then, back upstairs to deal with the corpse.

I know... I'll go downstairs... stop someone on the street... ask them to call the cops for me. What do I know? I've never dealt with a naked corpse before... let alone a naked corpse in Aassiaat Greenland. They're gonna think I did it? Check fingerprints with the FBI... find my stomach medicine and think I'm a drug dealer. This is just awful! The worst day of my life.

Back at the bathroom door. I try the chain punch I learned in my Wing Chung class. POW-POW POW-POW POW-POW POW. One after the other... like a machine gun. Loud enough to wake the dead... I hope.

No response.

Ok, time to transfer this to a higher authority.... ah... there are my shoes. I put them on... hear a door open.

Hello? Hello?” It' Inuarq, leaning through the open doorway, using the door to hide his lower nuditute.

Fuck,” I say. “I thought you were dead.”

No,” he says, “just in the shower.

9:45 I go back to bed

11;30 I get up, the sun shining through the curtainless windows as it does every day. Usually at 7:30! [ASIDE: It's amazing how few people here have curtains or shades on their windows. Besides providing a show of intimate adventures, the lack of curtains is a soundless morning alarm-- in the fall (and spring, I guess). But in the summer, it's never dark. In the winter, it's never light. So how does lack of curtains help with that?

Upstairs, Inuarq sits on the couch watching a soccer game on his huge TV. The maid is mopping the floor in the bathroom. Just another quiet day in Aassiaat.

You had a wild night,” I say to him.

You could say that,” he answers.

I head for the bathroom to take care of what old men have to frequently take care of. The maid is now washing the kitchen dishes. After bleeding the hose, I flush and leave the bathroom.

A stirring comes from Inuaraq's room. I figure he's changing clothes, or cleaning up after the rough night. I figure wrong. Out of his room come two girls--- the two pretty ones-- from the party last night. They're barefoot... slightly disheveled.

Good morning,” I say to them.

They smile at me... wave... go down stairs... and before long I hear the back door slam shut.


--To Be Continued

Special note about Inuaraq: As you can guess from reading this, he's an amazing guy! I feel like he's my long lost Eskimo brother. Besides his bar-- that'll feature live music-- he's organizing a festival-- twice a year (summer and winter)-- in Aasiaat. If you're in a band... or know a band... that'll be in Europe touring, especially Northern Europe or Germany, you should contact him at:

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

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