Monday, August 15, 2011

Five Ways to Make Your Own Fun When in Antarctica

According to this article by Dr. Kanwal Vilku, the first Indian woman to set foot on that continent:

5. Have an anchor baby:
Some Americans actually try to have babies at their stations (they have four). I used to find this crazy. Then I learnt that they were pressing for Antarctic ‘citizenship’. The continent is very rich in minerals, and American settlers want to stake claim to the land.
4. Paint pictures using unconventional materials:
In the evenings, if it wasn’t my turn to run chores, I would sit in my room and paint. I used expired medicines and mixed them with wall paints for my work.
3. Think about the colds you’re not catching:
Nobody ever falls ill with fever or an infection there because of the absence of viruses and bacteria.
2. Have a cuppa, inside a glacier:
I was very keen to see the submerged Indian station Dakshin Gangotri before we returned. For a long time, it was inaccessible. But the day before we were heading back, the weather cleared. Though we had already given back the snow clothes assigned to us, I decided to go. A small group came along. We were freezing without the special clothes. One container was still above water then. With great difficulty, one of the doors was prised open. We went inside and made a cup of tea. In Antarctica, the rule is to leave everything just as it was. This is so that if anyone gets lost, s/he can find food and so on in the closest shelter. We, too, left the kettle and cups back in their place before leaving.
1. Overcome sex and age discrimination to become the first woman from your country to set foot in the Antarctic.

If you are not female, or if your country has already sent a woman to Antarctica, then I'd stick with the most traditional Antarctic pastime of all: penguin-watching (see 0:45).

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