English 9

English 9


April 1988.

I need a little vacation, so I ordered 6 weeks, which I will be at Gran Canaria in Puerto Rico for 3 weeks. This is total relaxation, where I often are with my friend Birger Vallys, who owns "La Bodega Copenhagen" in the shopping center in town. Often we are the home at Birgers place, or maybe went shopping in Las Palmas, where he retrieves goods to the restaurant. I
t is really nice and a lot of time we are together, either at home in Birger private in Arguineguin, or in a bar somewhere in the area where you can be really clever in a short time.

Back home in Hjortekær in Denmark I'm lot of time with my mom and dad, and often there is a party with friends and acquaintances by Vejlesø (this is a lake with boatrental and things)  in Holte. There really are some proper party through, now I'm home from Thule and has a lot of stories to share. I have no Harley right now, or vehicles at all, because I sold everything before I left for Australia in the 87.   So I go around in either a loaned car or by bus and train when there are beer or other festivities on this program, making it a fun holiday with friends, before the plane again go north to the base where the spring has started to grab and
port area dry up when summer comes upon us.

End of June 88

Now we are in late June and the port is opened for cargo, so I leave Hangar 6 to operate in the port as a mechanic on the tugboats as we have two of. 
Similarly, there is much to be done to keep all our forklift trucks rolling and I often give a hand in the loading area when there are ships in the harbor.

There are new people with each charter machine, so there are new colleagues and friends all the time. There comes a list up before each charter machine, with the names of those who are with the next flight. And in the June chartered plane, I see my cousin Bent on the list.  Bent has been up here many times before and in a total about 19 years at the base.  He  has been a painter and it's the same job again. Now it must be fun because cousin Bent not know that I'm here now, so I will take fun on him. I find him on the first day outside the REC Center and say hello, and enjoy Bent's confusion because he knows me well, but have no idea who I am and I keep him on the rack for half an hour before I say "Hello cousin ". 
It was a big reunion night at the club and we saw each other frequently thereafter.

A time with much to do on the job. But there are also time for some exploration in the wild around the base. I borrow from time to time, an U.S. Airforce car from the "Motorpool", where I've got a good friend.  Sole loan conditions is that they know where I'm running away and when I come back as pure security so they can put the search in time, if I do not come back on time. Completely okay, because there are a bit far from everything out there in the Arctic desert, with little long for the phone. I get a car and drove out without specifically target on the small roads leading out in nowhere and beyond.
I often run over North Mountain to the Wolstenholme Fjord with the 4 glaciers, Salisbury, Champerlin, Knud Rasmussen and Harald Moltke glaciers, which is a fantastic scenery, where you can sit and almost lose time and place with wonders at nature's amazing scenery at Your feet.

Several of the tours go to Dundas, the small abandoned town which lies a few kilometers north of the base, on the other side of the small inlet, North Star Bay and the harbor.
Dundas was originally named Uummaannaq, but was renamed to Dundas of Knud Rasmussen.

Dundas city located in the old Thule area in Qaanaaq municipality where Knud Rasmussen and Peter Lorenz Alfred Freuchen in 1909 created the Trade Station Thule.
The original Thule people lived in grass huts, many of which are still here today (2009),  a little "worn" maybe, but they are here.

My trips often goes to the area around Dundas, where I several times climbed up the 222-meter high Mount Dundas beside Dundas Town. It is quite steeply and you are struggling up through the rolling stone until the last 10 meters, where it goes straight up by a strong rope that is set up many years ago.
Thanks who ever did it!  And it's all the jostle worth because here is a breathtaking view all around,  just as against the base of the ice cap on the horizon and the fjord with glaciers or above the Arctic Ocean with the Saunders Island and the "witch hat" island in the distance. I'm often up here for hours and just sit there and remove all thoughts from my head and let greatness overwhelm me.
Thinking that all the people just once in life should look something like this and experience the silence which is almost deafening.

Also we got a flight with a light aircraft over the ice cap toward the city Qaanaaq (New Thule) about 120 kilometers north of the base. A colleague and I went down in the club of sportsflying at the base, to inquire about the possibility of hiring the club aircraft with pilot for a Sunday outing.
No problem,  while the pilot was missing a little flying time, so we paid only fuel.

Fine! We agreed to facilitate the next day in a Cessna in the direction of Qaanaaq, which we reached after 45 minutes. It was no ordinary airport in Qaanaaq, so the landing was a dirt track next to the city. The pilot told us that we have just a couple of times had to fly low over the pitch to look for if there was a rope stretched over the pitch. There are sometimes children in the city who have done it for thrills. But the track is clear and we will land here.
The slowdown is also pretty fast, because it is a gravel and sand track as the wheels sink in. But the pilot has proven the track before, so he has warned us about the situation here.

We have agreed to take off again after 3 hours. So my friend and I walk around town and "watching people" then we move up in the local foodhouse called the "Polar Grill" where we get a few hotdogs and water. On our walk around town, we encounter many unusually drunk people. The explanation is that everybody just had ration books for alcohol these days, so there are many visitors in shop for a quick drink. We face a pretty drunk lady who will sell a bag full of polar bear claws for 200 bucks, she has little lack of money for beer. They are beautiful, the claws, but we say no thanks for the way we judge a new bear to death, that gives new claws for sale. Knowing that it probably had no effect, that we said nothanks. But if everyone did that, too many senseless killing of these magnificent animals can be prevented.
But it is probably a hopeless wish.

Fun and exciting to go to Qaanaaq. Could easily have been here longer, but the pilot had to returned to base, so we'd better get on board the plane again. The plane is ready to start with a piece of dirt road ahead.
Fool power on the engine!

But instead of rolling off, the plane starts to jump and dance. Of course, the wheels dug into the sand and sits well and truly stuck. So the pilot takes a scoop out of the plane and begins to dig the wheels free. He instructs me to give the plane full throttle, while he is out and twisting the plane until it comes free and begins to roll off without him onboard! He is running a bit beside the plane and then jump on board and get the plane in the air just before the gravel path ends up in some big stones. It was very nice that he has not stumbled since there was really fast speed and we had sat there, but the pilot outside and full speed away.
Well, you could probably just have turned off the engine, but it was quite exciting anyway.

Up and away towards the base. We flew along the coast a little first before we went into the country again. Great views with endless expanses around us as far as the eye could see. I have flown many times before, but now it is something special to see Greenland from above, with the huge masses of ice and the coast with many cliffs and beautiful valleys in from the coast. The round trip took half an hour, when we took a small detour to look us around.
Very nice experience, I really want that many could be allowed to enjoy.

But now there is not always time for fun when there are tasks to be solved in the workshop and on the harbor. Actually we worked out a lot of free time here.
But .........

Another unusual day on the base, was a day we sat in the "Dining Hall" and ate. Suddenly we were told. the dining hall would be closed as soon as there were more than 300 unexpected guests on site about an hour.
There was something of an influx without warning.

It proved to be an Air France Boeing 747 which had taken off from Paris in the direction of Anchorage, Alaska, filled with tourists from Korea. There had been a bomb threat against the plane, with the message that the bomb would go off at a specified clock if certain demands were not met. There was just a little that the terrorists who had made threats apparently were unaware, that the Thule base existed. Otherwise the threat really good enough because there were no civilian airports close enough to take such large aircraft.
So the terrorists acted shame in a "good" sense.

So the Jumbo landed at the base, without the terrorists knowledge. Then the plane was emptied for passengers who were transported in Dininghall and elsewhere. The Jumboplane was put on the bomb site behind the base, at a safe distance from the base area and shortly thereafter landed a Gulf Streamer flight from Kangerlussuaq with Danish police on board, with specially trained bomb dogs which investigated the Jumbo everywhere.
Nothing was found and the plane was abandoned at the site.

Now the terrorists had set a specific time of the explosion, but nothing happened. And after waiting a further 2 hours, they drove passengers to the aircraft, which took off at Anchorage, Alaska. And the silence descended again over Thule Air Force Base, where the Airpolicen had plunged around with machine guns and so much skewed to the many Koreans who drove around the bus and looked at selected locations. I think Americans have a particular suspect gene, which mistrusts everyone and everything.
They will forget late the day when the Thule Airbase was "invaded" by hundreds of Koreans.

My curiosity begins to think of Sondrestrom Airbase further south, so I hear little about the possibilities. Maybe a bit stupid for the daily work here is very fine here, with great colleagues and wonderful friends in their spare time to share life with. But my old colleague, Aksel, "The Cold Blacksmith" is already down there and have written to me that there certainly is a job for me there if I could imagine it.  Aksel will certainly do what he can, because I can get there if I want.
And yes, why not?

I mislaid the idea for my bosses, but they are not much for loosing me.  Actually nice to hear that you have not been completely impossible working here in the workshop. But things get started, so in a few weeks would the transfer be done with an US.Airforce aircraft.

But nature would it different on Monday, 12 September, I got a morning message from my mother, who says that father is dead, which means I have to make some quick decisions and make a lot of agreement with the company.  Already on Thursday 16. September, a SAS machine goes to Denmark, so I get quickly booked a ticket for the journey home. Like to do a lot of paper for the work transfer to Kangerlussuaq and I start to pack my luggage, stereos, TVs, clothes and anything else I want to be send south.
Did it all and I take the charter flight home to Denmark, while the company will arrange for the move of my belongings, with US.Airforce to the base at the south.

I get home in time to say goodbye to Dad on the stretcher and to participate in the funeral service. There are also a lot of things to do, so Mom can retain as undivided possession in the future. Mom is obviously very influenced by the situation and get stuck, but have close family around her to help in everyday life, if something should arise. I offer to terminate my employment on Greenland and stay home, but I simply can not be allowed by Mom. She insists that I go back at my work and after 4 weeks, I sit on the plane from Kangerlussuaq on the way up to my new job. 
New job is perhaps as much to say as it still is Greenland Contractors and all vehicles and machinery for repair is still from US.Airforce.

Welcome here and I'll move into something that looks like a normal accommodation, in contrast to the barracks of Thule. Twice as much space on the second floor overlooking the Crow Mountain near the base.
Do not know the real name right, but there always hovers many crows there, so why not Crow Mountain?

Kangerlussuaq was originally an American airbase that was built in 1941 under the name "Bluie West 8". But as a result of technological development the base lost its military significance and was in the 1992 "given" to Greenland again.  Today , Kangerlussuaq are an civilian airport and workplace for most of the approx.
500 inhabitants in town.
Kangerlussuaq is located at the bottom of the 160 km long fjord with the same name, which appropriately enough means "the long fjord" in Greenlandic. 
Just a few miles from Kangerlussuaq airport, you can experience some of the area's 5,000 mouskusoxes in a rented car or on a rented mountain bike. Kangerlussuaq has a very stable climate with hot (up to 15-20 degres Celcius in the sun) dry summers and cold ( I have experienced minus 54 degrees) , clear winter days and nights, not least offers stunning Northern Lights, if luck is with you. With over 300 days a year with clear skies, Kangerlussuaq is one of the places in the world which are most likely to see aurora. I've been lucky enough to experience the northern lights many times and it's just amazing every time it hangs like a heavy colorful garland across the night sky, where it looks like you can go up after them, but it "hangs" typically 80 to 150 km up the night sky. I've been lucky to experience the Northern Lights several times and are just fascinated every time.
I just stand still and enjoy the sight fully each time.

Northern Lights - or Aurora Borealis, as it is called, is active year round, but it is not visible during the summer in Greenland because of the midnight sun. It is often around midnight, it can be seen here and best on a dark clear night skies from October to early April.
At that time, you can see the northern lights over the country, but in southern Greenland may be northern lights already experienced from the end of August.

The Inuit have always been a bit superstitious and northern lights in the clear polar night has challenged the imagination. A famous legend tells that when the northern lights dancing in the sky, it means that the dead playing ball with a walrus skull.
Today think some people that children are particularly intelligent when they're born under the light and therefore "designed" by North Light magical light.

In contrast to Thule, there's always extra work in the workshop so hours are often late before closing time. Fortunately, Saturdays normally "protected" for extra work, at least in winter. So it's closing time at midday, so you can start a bit with the weekendparty, which is almost fixed every Saturday, with a nice dinner in the common room or nice dinner somewhere else before we go in "The Caribou Club" as a place caled where there are always filled with wonderful people, equally divided between people from the base and from the civilian side of the base, 
on the other side of the airport runway.

Often, I was invited to some party on the civilian side, after the bottom had been made in the club. Often it was some pretty animated celebrations, which ended with common sleep in a small room somewhere with 12-15 parkadressed base people on some foam mattresses. But when the weather is nice, I prefer the 1-½ kilometer walk back to my own bed, which was preferable. Do not forget a festive evening where the party was over and I definitely would go home even though I had forgotten to put the hood on my parka after washing and my gloves were also at home. Dumb, dumber and dumbest! It was minus 54 degrees outside, but I went along anyway and said hello to both reindeer and old mouskus No. 16 that had gone into the base area during the night. After only a short time my ears began to prick in the cold and when I held up my hands to warm them, quickly got the same tingling in the fingertips. Cheeks and nose began to prick and I had to rush over to the workshop where I worked, to come into heat in the Arctic Corridor.  This door are never locked. Here I got heat in my fingers and face again, although it continued to prick the ears and fingers.
Quite uncomfortable and the first signs of frostbite.

With more stops in other buildings, I finally came home to my own room. Incredibly stupid to forget about the cap on the parka and of course my gloves. Think it happened because there was only minus 20 in the early evening and it was only the club, who joked in my thoughts for tonight's excesses. But as so often before, the plans changed from thirst and longing for fun and music, so here I was reminded to respect nature and the cold never be forgotten.
It took several days before my ears and fingers were normal again and I was so much smarter now.

Christmas and New Year was celebrated at an "appropriate" way, at home in the house with roommates, and later in "The Caribou Club" with music, dance and and and ...... There is not much snow now outside but you get used to it here.
On the whole, I experienced almost no snow, but I missed it either.

All in all going pretty quiet here at the base and on the job. Superintendent Eli is a quiet man of few words, and collaboration works well. The supervisor are Lars Jensen and he is also a gregarious size that takes it all from above, so each day glide smoothly into place instead of making things difficult, as someone can. A Crew Chief is here not normally, but suddenly one day my former supervisor, Erik Lisner, came down from Thule Air Base and becomes a rapid appointed Crew Chief, quite fine with me!
Then everything goes well and smoothly at work and at leisure.

Working again, as at Thule, along with Aksel, "The Cold Blacksmith" to keep the heavy equipment such as snow removal equipment and trucks okay and we also renovate stone crushers for use in the summer months.

January, February and March, without much fluctuation, just work and time off. Easy and simple. In late March, an idea was born in my head, I can use for a 1. of Aprilfool. I get hold of some official US.Airforce paper for the purpose and author of a document to launch a halving of the electricity costs at the base.
The database should switch from 110 volts down to 55 volts, to improve the ekonomi on base.

April 1988.

To this must all pick up an "adapter" in the REC center, I wrote, which should be installed between the base and the various electric things that we use at home and at work. I wander around at the 31st
March late at night and puts the "document" up on all bulletin boards and exit doors in the housing estates.

Actually I think it not will have some big special effect, but I hear later that day of first April 1988, comes a lot of people to the reccenter to collect their "Adapter".  REC Center naturally did not have any "Adapter", but I hear later that one of their staff was quick and played with and send people further into "the system" in the workshops.  Joke get a little better than I expected and believed. So now you know where the first
April Fools came from, if you were on Sondy back in 1988.

In late April, I was called by Lisbeth, a close ralative in Copenhagen, who asked if I would like to buy her apartment in Hessensgade 48 on Amager.  Yes
, it was a super good deal, so I agreed with Lisbeth to buy it when I came home on holiday in May.

I have also contacted my old friend "PH", Peter Hansen, in early May, to hear whether he had a functioning Harley stock, which could be registered to me when I come home on holiday. I sold all what I had when I left for Australia in 87 so I needed something to roll around on the holiday. Peter says that he has a Sportster 1964 and he can register it to me quickly. Mighty! Maybe not exactly a model I had imagined, but it is weel enough for a little holiday travel. And Peter fixes papers and license plates, so it's ready when I get home.
For those who do not know, I can tell that Peter was Harley-importer at the time and also one of the co-founder of Harley-Davidson Club Denmark as previously told.

The 7 months in Greenland was fine and now it will be really good with a holiday. Back home, I take down quickly to Peter and fetch my Harley, so there may come a little hiss in the hair. Then into Spies travelagency to buy 2 weeks at Gran Canaria in Puerto Rico so I can get the body warmed again.
There will be 2 weeks with total relaxing and fun with my old friend Birger there.

Back home I get hold of Lisbeth and I buy my new home from her, so I now have a 2-bedroom on the 4th floor.
Super Fine that Lisbeth was thinking of me, so I have something to come back to when I stop in Greenland sometime.

Mysterious enough, there was a sweet young lady in the middle of it all. It is Lisbs colleague Lisa from the airport, where they work together in the "Flightcleaning" in SAS.  Lisa is all the way through the trade of the apartment we celebrate it in a appropriate manner, with a little good food and drink on the evening when we go into the "Bodega Jensen" in Bremer Street, to celebrate the deal to the late hours. Just fine and I think when I suddenly found Lisa on my lap, so we got close enough to share a few kisses.

Oooo yes, I was actually quite polite and offer Lisa to stay in my apartment, so she did not need to go home at night. UHA, it can be dangerous with such an offer!
You never know what might come out of such a thing.

Now I believe then, that there was absolutely nothing special comes out of such a night, although I just thought that Lisa was a lovely rose to get on the fork, on top of a bargain. It was only a brief acquaintance, but as days went by, Lisa and I still have several days together.  Among others drove Lisa and I on a Harley Gathering in Jutland hviket was Lisa's first step into the Harley world. Very cozy and after a good weekend, we drive home to Amager again.
I have no furniture in Hessensgade, so I live with my mother in Hjortekær.

Since I have to go around and meet many old friends I'm not much with Lisa, though I wanted to be with her every day. But there was no reason to press on. But we have seen a few times in my holiday and I spend the night on the last night with Lisa in her apartment, before the plane goes back to Greenland again. Strange situation, because Lisa says "I love you" and I had really hard to sneak around the answer.  I dare not just say what I think, because I still have my "freedom" in mind and will not bind me to tight for a second.
It's damn hard when the heart says yes and a hidebound old idea says otherwise.

But up in the air with the SAS plane at Kangerlussuaq, I sit silent and think a lot and suddenly I become very annoyed that I did not say "I love you" to Lisa as well.  But when I came to the base, I quickly get my pen and write a long letter to Lisa, so she has no doubts about what I mean.
It gets very hot and many letters whiz back and forth during the summer and we talk often together through the coinphone on the base, where I  uses 1000 of Dkr whenever and Lisa gets a phone bill of a format.

The work goes through the summer at the port, with 70-80 hours per week on average, so there will be some pay into my account too.  Aksel and I work with keeingp landing boats sailing and other miscellaneous vehicles rolling betwin base and the harbor. We differentiate and build an old SAS bus, so it may be a dwelling on one of the landing craft, to "Beacontour" which goes out through the fjord to repainted the many buoys there are.   Aksel comes with on the trip and I stay inside the base, entirely voluntary. Then I can continuing the speaking with Lisa on the phone as usual. There were many who shook their heads when I declined to come along for the ride.
Maybe even a little silly, since it is a "once in a lifetime" trip that I said no to.

It was my plan to stay on base at least until the New Year. But it starts drag in me to come home to Lisa again. So as early as in the beginning of July, I take the decision and submit my resignation to the company because we have a 30-day notice period. The head tries to get me to take a few extra months, but no, I have taken the decision. Ok, says the firm, but says the door is always open if I would change my opinion. So I have since not been done me quite impossible here.  Well
 enough to know.

It's a bit annoying now because I am starting to get a swelling at the left eye, in the bottom. Going to the doctor, but here they will not do anything but recommend me to get treatment when I come to Denmark.  Fine wiyh me  and that's probably just a small abscess or similar. Instead I get some penicillin pills I can take. 
Fair enough, but the pills working not really, because the bulge is still growing.

Continues in English 10.


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28.11 | 21:46

And I have never experienced any problems myself

28.11 | 21:43

There are no problems dear Laila.., My site is secured through the company I have the website uploaded in... I've never heard of any crashes there. Take care

18.10 | 21:46

Enjoyed reading about your upbringing. I was a little concerned because I have a "Red Alert" that says your site is Not Secure so was afraid to stay longeer

20.01 | 14:17

Hej Sven, kig engang herind www.per-anne.dk find ferieture i menuen og Grønland 1989
Mvh. Per Skjødt, søn af den kolde smed

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