This Village is Dry, Almost as Dry as My Skin

Everything up here is so dry. The dry air causes static electricity mega jolts, gushing nose bleeds, and my skin to feel as if it itself is a new reptilian creature that I’ve never known before. Even growing up in Minnesota, I often needed chapstick, yet rarely needed lotion. But, alas, these are things to discuss in depth on a different day.


Today is about living a dry lifestyle, albeit not entirely by choice.

First there are three types of alcohol levels when it comes to city laws (from my understanding).

There are wet towns where you can buy alcohol “à vontade”, as much as you want, whenever you want, whatever kind you want (Portuguese was better suited to the idea).

There are damp towns where you need a permit to buy alcohol and may only buy limited amounts from a state approved store.

Then, there are dry towns.


My village, similar to other small arctic villages, is a dry village. This means that it is a felony to possess or consume alcohol here. Like all banned things, the law doesn’t stop it from existing on our island, but that is also a discussion for another time. For the right price, RIDICULOUSLY high prices, and with the right connections, anything is possible.


(Where groceries cost about 3x as much as they do at home in Minnesota, alcohol on the black market is said to be marked up higher than most street drugs. We are talking hundreds of dollars for a bottle of whiskey that might cost $10 legally.)


Either way, on “girl’s night”, when I make homemade spaghetti, or while I sit around doing puzzles, there can be no wine at the table. While watching the Superbowl or at our staff BBQ, there can be no beer.

I may have bought some sparkling grape juice to unwind after a long day of physical labor. I may also sparingly use my wine-inspired deep hair conditioner (thank you dear friend for that care package)!


I suppose this is what it feels like to be a tourist to the U.S when you are old enough to drink in your home country, but under 21. It’s frustrating because as far as your concerned, it is a legal activity and you are of age, but the law says otherwise.


It’d be a lie to tell you that this has been a huge challenge in my life. It’d also be a lie to tell you that this has changed my life in any way, but I’ve never been much of a drinker. I do miss the socializing and I definitely miss hitting up a nice brewery or winery for conversation and games. Most of all, I look forward to having a cold beer around a bonfire this summer…or just a beer anywhere in general.