Kayaking from Sydprøven across the fjord seemed like a great idea until it didn’t. Half an hour into our day the winds gathered force. The waves were pounding our yaks from every direction. We were going north, but with every paddle stroke, we were getting farther away from our comfort zone and closer to WTF.
On the other side of the fjord we all agreed that usually disaster movies start this way and we’d better take a break from the elements. Our disaster movie script quickly turned horror as we found a ghost village complete with three and half abandoned buildings and a church.
Here are 5 sentences I never thought I’d hear on a kayak trip, but that day I did:
- Look, here is a Danish TV guide from 1983.
- Does anyone know how to use a Singer sewing machine?
- Guys, let’s break into the church.
- Do you think an acoustic guitar burns well in the fire?
- I thought Betamax didn’t allow porn movies.
To escape the wind and rain we moved into one of the abandoned houses. Although the paint was chipping off the ceiling, dark green moss was growing on the carpet and the stove was not connected to the chimney, we were ready to give the house a solid 10 on Tripadvisor. We hung our wet clothes, made coffee, drank whiskey and spent the better half of the afternoon inspecting the archeological treasures in the one room shack.
The last sign of life was from 1998 in the form of a diploma and a piece of old official mail. Beni quickly observed that the place must have belonged to a priest or a minister. “Look at all these Jesus paintings, and this porn video,” said Beni. His comments got slightly weirder when he examined the video’s back cover and said with an absolutely serious demeanor, “I thought anal sex was invented after the 1990s”.
The rest of the afternoon was spent reading old picture books in Danish and Inuit, napping, smoking, drinking coffee and cooking dinner.
After failing to mend his cheap Decathlon gloves with the sewing machine, Beni explained why books are better than e-readers. “You know, in case of an emergency you could never start a fire with a Kindle,” said the Swiss German engineer.
“Hey Andrew, why don’t we burn some of these books and make a big fire,” asked Beni.
“Beni, the last time your people started burning books it didn’t end so well for my people,” I replied.
“What about a 1994 Greenland phone book. Is that considered a book?”
After a half an hour of moral back and forth, the ghost town elders agreed that it was ethically acceptable to burn a 30 year old phone book. Drying our shoes and socks by the camp fire that night, I realized that sometimes you just need an abandoned beach house, a 1994 phone book and a box of matches to feel one with the universe.