Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 224: Everything is Temporary These Days

This week has been extremely busy and very amazing. We've just finished the week's festivities for Solfestuka, the festival for the return of the sun. The organizers had asked for volunteers from UNIS, so I worked for two of the events in exchange for some concert tickets. The first event I worked with was a Liv Mari Schei concert. This young woman sings songs about coal mining. Very mellow sort of Enya-like stuff, not really my kind of music, but it was interesting to see an artist from Longyearbyen.

It was held in the SAS Radisson's bar, a nice little place. About 80% of the people in this photo are related to UNIS:

By far one of the most fantastic things this week was getting into the Dum Dum Boys concert. I hadn't really heard of them before, but the bits and pieces I found online sounded pretty good. They're extremely popular around here, and they were sold out of tickets except for 25 that they would sell at the door. I assumed I didn't have a chance, and forgot about it, until a friend called me the afternoon before the concert. A bunch of UNIS students had camped out outside the restaurant the night before, and if I went I would be 10th in line for one of those final tickets. So instead of sitting in my office all day, I sat in the snow for about 6 hours in line for concert tickets.

Lene, the fantastic friend who told me to drop everything and sit outside all day:

We actually made it into the local newspaper (look here - I'm sitting on the far right), and some of the people were interviewed by the radio station. Someone had a set of battery-powered speakers, so we plugged in some music. They had dug out a sort of couch in the snow, and got the restaurant to deliver food to us outside, so really, it was pretty good time out in the cold. The people who had spent the night outside brought a stove and even made eggs and bacon for breakfast. Just like camping out for tickets anywhere!

And it was completely worth it - definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to. We nearly had a riot at the door because some late-comers weren't too cooperative about the line we had arranged. The restaurant actually called the police to decide who would get in, and luckily the people who deserved to get in (everyone who had bene sitting outside for at least 4 hours) got their tickets.

The next day (March 8th) was the official day for the return of the sun. Everyone was supposed to meet at the steps of the old hospital for a ceremony and to greet the sun. This did indeed happen, minus the greeting the sun part:

No sun whatsoever.

[several hours later]

It's my bedtime. More exciting updates tomorrow, with photos galore.

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