Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 23, 2016

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The snowmobile actually missed him, but given how flat Chris Borstad now looks it’s understandable to mistake him for a collision victim. The associate professor at UNIS posted an unhappy note at Longyearbyen’s “jeers, cheers and info” Facebook page last week detailing this town’s version of a reckless joyrider. “I was nearly run over by a snowmobile around 6 p.m. this evening on the path between the Radisson and UNIS,” he wrote. “The scooter drove up onto the walking path and sped right past me (driving unnecessarily fast for in town, whatever the circumstances). I was wearing a reflective vest, and was blinded by the headlights, so there is no way they didn’t see me. The scooter continued to drive up the path and turned right in front of three other people walking down. There is plenty of snow and plenty of room for scooters to travel alongside the path in this area- there is no reason this should be a scooter route. It doesn’t take long to get anywhere in this small town, it’s not worth endangering your neighbors just to get to your destination 30 seconds sooner.” He also posted a helpful selfie of himself a the scene of the shenanigans, but maybe he should have smiled for the camera because he didn’t quite get as much sympathy as he might have hoped. As Filip Zahariev put it in a response, “You look strange…”

At least Borstad can take comfort knowing his social media rant is likely to reach a large audience since, according to an article in Tuesday’s Avisen Agder, Svalbard has by far the highest number of households with broadband access in Norway. We’re a little surprised at the 96 penetration rate since we’re wondering how many people are living in cabins outside the city limits as their primary residence (not to mention the folks in remote settlements). But we’re even more surprised by how low the rate is elsewhere in the country. Oslo is ranked second with 87 percent of households having broadband and the nationwide average is 81 percent…

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It’s 1:13 pm. Do you know where your child carrier is? Photo by Julia de Cooker.

In other local transportation weirdness, this snowmobile and covered sleigh photographed just outside of Longyearbyen in February of 2014 is now missing, at least from the eyes and lens of photographer Julia de Cooker, who hopes to capture a better image as part of photo project featuring Svalbard. She posted a Facebook message asking the owner to contact her that includes a link to her other pictures from her project here, including one depicting maybe the most pathetic guy you’ll ever see who’s obviously suffering a midlife crisis because he idiotically bought a sports car in town with virtually no roads…

And speaking of that idiot and more transportation weirdness, as if he didn’t have enough problems due to losing his home the past week, somebody stole the windshield off his snowmobile. He’s been so out of it it took him several days to realize it was missing despite commuting to our corporate headquarters with it daily. Thankfully, a plea on Facebook hoping to take advantage of someone else’s misfortunate if they happened to wreck anything/everything on their scooter except the windshield has resulted in a possible donor. We’d say we’ll follow up and let you know the outcome next week, but truth is we’re not all that interested in the guy’s life.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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