Sunday, February 11, 2007

Where are they now?

Last night I started idly wondering about some of the people I have lost touch with over the years. One of them I especially regret, mostly because her life always sounded so very cool and exotic in comparison to mine. She is a Saami (Lapplander) from a reindeer farm in the Arctic circle, who I met in Germany when we were both 16. We travelled around together and when I returned to New Zealand, we were penfriends for a few years, then gradually fell out of touch.

I loved that while my letters described my boring classes and what homework I had this week, hers told me about the Northern Lights, raising orphaned reindeer, and building igloos while out on ice-fishing trips. During our time in Germany, I showed her how to order Indian food, and she introduced me to salted reindeer tongue. I guess I was always getting much more out of the friendship than she was, so it's hardly surprising we fell out of touch.

Thinking about her last night, I convinced myself that her life was probably far less interesting now. No doubt she had moved to the big city, studied maybe business management or law, got an office job. On a whim I typed into Google all I could remember of her: first name (Nadja) and region (Jokkmokk). I didn't expect to find anything, but look at this!

For those of you who don't read Swedish, it's still worth clicking on the link just for the photo. The news story is about how, after years of hunting elk and something else I can't translate (rip?), she just shot her first bear (after chasing it for an hour as fast as she could run), which she then skinned, and salted for later consumption.

I was right: her life really has become much less interesting.


Aurelius said...

I use Firefox. And read blogs by opening a massive amount of tabs.
And coincidentally, the one next to yours in my directory of blogs is called "Exit, Pursued By A Bear".
Most inappropriate, huh?

Jana said...

Fascinating! But I kept reading "fällde Nadja Åstot i Jokkmokk sitt livs första björn" as "fällde sitt första barn", which made the whole article seem a little alarming.

StyleyGeek said...

I read it as that the first time, too, Jana, and blinked a lot, then went back and reread it.

Kris said...

Good post. "Rip" is a bird. You can find out more here:

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks, Kris! A grouse, huh? Who knew.

Åkerbäret said...

Ahh, life up north can certainly be a bit different. This almost makes me miss it... :-)

The word for the bird is ripa, not rip though. Very popular with the hunters (ripjägare=grouse hunter).

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks, aakerbäret. I only saw it in the word ripjägare, so I didn't know it was ripa on its own.