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Photo of Crown Prince Haakon, center, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit at Arctic Husky Travellers kennels by Sara Svanemyr, The Royal Court
It’s about as royal a three-day trip as any random tourist seeking a “real life” experience in Longyearbyen might hope for: meals and music with students, roaming coal mines with the workers, dogsledding, and literally topping off the tour at a top-secret mountaintop satellite facility.
Of course, this red-carpet rollout isn’t just for anyone. The tourists in this case were every much an attraction to locals as vice-versa as Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit participated in a packed schedule of gatherings focusing on how residents are faring during turbulent times and raise awareness about climate change.
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.