A cold sweat

Less than five minutes after my arrival on the reindeer farm, I inadvertently ask a personal, extremely inappropriate question.

“How many reindeer do you have?” I inquire, innocently.

Scandalized, the farm’s matriarch looks away, cheeks flushed, eyes darting in all directions. “You can ask,” she finally responds, slowly, with a bashful smile, “but I won’t tell you.” She proceeds to explain, patiently, as if to a child, that asking that question up here in Lapland is like asking someone in a city about how much money they have in the bank – it’s simply not done… [read more]