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Svalbard’s concept of a “special diet” historically meant staples such as whale and reindeer meat, and even in the modern day the archipelago is exempt from allergen labeling requirements that exist in the rest of Norway. But with Longyearbyen shifting in recent years from a mining-dominated town to a more diverse one where tourism and research is increasing, so are the requests from those with special diets and efforts by restaurants and stores to accommodate them.
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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.