February 9, 2013
Saturday was our last full day in Jokkmokk and many of us spent it relaxing and recovering from the previous two days at the market. It’s surprising how much energy gets taken out of you by being out in the cold and crowds! I think we all enjoyed the market but by day three we needed to rest. It was also much colder than it had been previously while we were in Jokkmokk. We were told it is always cold during the market. The temperature got down to -30ºC (about -20ºF). It was painful to take your hands out of your gloves in order to buy something at the market. I had an unfortunate experience trying to buy fudge at the market. The vendor had metal tongs to pick up the pieces but the tongs were too small to use with gloves on. I couldn’t hold onto the tongs because they were so cold! So I had a good laugh over the struggle it was to buy some candy. I think the vendor took pity on me because he didn’t make me pay full price.
Many of us just relaxed and watched a movie and some people went out to get some last minute shopping done at the market. I ended up buying some buttons made out of reindeer antler which is just one example of all the unique things to buy here! Some people also started the dreaded task of packing up all of our belongings and trying to get it all to fit and making room for new purchases. But let’s be honest, we’re a bunch of college kids, we are going to put things like that off till the last minute!
The evening however was not a time of relaxation. It was the last chance to spend a night in Jokkmokk and there was a Sami dance that was a popular activity for many in the group. All of the Sami were wearing their traditional clothing and there was a live band playing. Those who went had a really great time and were glad that they got to experience something that is meant for the Sami community. It was a wonderful way to end our time here in Jokkmokk and spend time with the amazing people we’ve met!