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Think again. There are always people who feel a bit worse – take the people of Longyearbyen, one of the world’s most Northern towns. Part of the Svalbard communities of Northern Norway, on 26th October this year the sun set in the town, not to reappear for at least 4 months.
Four months. Imagine that? Dark when you wake, dark when you work, dark when you do anything at all. Pitch black, with only the comfort of artificial light – and snow. Lots and lots of darn snow.
Still think it is bad to wake up in sunny London a little bit groggy on a winter’s morning? Well, in Longyearbyen, you are not allowed to die or have babies during the winter. People who die have to be shipped out of town because the perma frost is so hard you can’t be buried – and pregnant ladies are shipped off to mainland to ensure safe deliveries of the new arrivals.
This is a web cam picture from the town taken today at around 2 pm. Joy. You can keep making yourself feel warmer / brighter by checking in here: click for web cam LINK http://www.svalbard.com/webcam/.
Other great facts about Longyearbyen is that you HAVE to carry a gun (due to the fact that there are more polarbears than people around the town). Secondly, there are no fridge shops – seeing as they have little need: in the summer, temperatures are around 3-7 celcius plus. A bit like if you lived inside your own refrigiator in your flat in Hackney.
Some nice things to click onto: go camping in Longyearbyen LINK http://www.longyearbyen-camping.com/ (yes, really), stay here if you happen to visit and it’s too cold for camping LINK http://www.gjestehuset102.no/eng/aboutus.html and read the local news here LINK http://www.svalbardposten.no/
Now, stop complaining about the cold and crawl back into your refrigerator.