On the 14th of February I got access to my dormitory room, even though on that day, I didn’t have the time to move but only to visit and meet some of the students. I decided to move in the 15th.
How is life at a Greenlandic dormitory? Well, I’m not sure I can give you en exact answer, but here are some facts and observations. I live at a place called ATI – kollegiet (dormitory) consisting of blocks of houses, each marked with their specific letter, from A to I. At our house we’re at the moment 9 people occupying 6 rooms i.e. there are singles and couples living together. We’re as far as nationality goes: 5 Greenlanders, 3 Danes, 1 me, myself and I. The house is spatial, quiet and built partially as a living place and a social place. It consists of a rather large kitchen where everything comes twice; the oven, the sink etc…. We have a lot, and I mean a LOT of kitchen equipment, especially pots and pans. On the day of my arrival there was a new ”shipment” of pots placed in the kitchen together with a new toaster and a new kitchen weight. On the contrary, there isn’t much space in the two refrigerators although we have the possibility to use an extra freezer, which is located on the 1st floor.
So, I won’t write much more about the house structure, hopefully you get the idea; this place is consisting of more than one floor and has a big kitchen. To that you can add 4 restrooms/bathrooms and 1 laundry room with washing machine and a dryer.
Let’s turn to the human side of this place. Living at a Greenlandic dormitory includes services from the administrators, situated actually only 200-300 meters up the road. We can change our bed sheets every Wednesday, arrange transport to and from the airport, get advice or complain about our housemates or personal problems. Not 24/7 but for most of the time during most of day. Not that this actually takes place, but the opportunity is there. Since my arrival, life has been very quiet at our house. Surprisingly quiet, especially when there have not been many activities in which we all took part apart from watching TV for the time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Smokers do smoke only in the kitchen where the TV is placed right next door to the entrance.
Living at a dormitory is new thing to me. Actually this is the first time in my life and I wonder if it is not the way things supposed to be – here I mean ”quiet” – because my housemates have a lot of work, such as school work or part time jobs in the town. Some of them travel for family reasons, some wait for the weather to allow their travels to begin. You also have to consider, that there is a time where you want to relax etc.. therefore, maybe nothing unusual about a place being quiet. Let’s see how things evolve until now I have both satisfaction and mixed feelings about it – all on personal level.