1) Tromsø is super cute and very civilized and I haven't had to start a fire with sticks or fend off wolves with my bare hands. So rereading "White Fang" and "To Build A Fire" wasn't really necessary. There are quaint, colorful wooden buildings alongside modern Scandinavian architecture, lovely old churches, fancy stores, cozy coffeeshops and a 7-11 that sells seafood snacks.
2) All bathroom floors in America should be heated. There is nothing like stepping onto a marvelously warm tile floor when you go to use the bathroom in the middle of the Arctic night, which is basically any time between 2pm and 10am.
3) Right now, I'm really stoked about all the awesome seafood I'm eating. Salmon tartar with chilies and lime juice. Roasted salmon. Poached salmon. Itsy bitsy pink shrimp the size of the end of your thumb. Flakey cod. More shrimp. Smoked salmon at breakfast. I might be tired of salmon if this keeps up but right now it's pretty awesome.
4) The Polarmuseet (Polar Museum) has some fantastically graphic dioramas that you probably wouldn't see in the US. A guy killing and skinning a reindeer. Some other dude clubbing a baby seal. Artifacts and bones from old whaling camps. A ton of stuff on national hero Roald Amundsen. Forgive the pun, but it's a cool museum.
5) There are moments when it's oddly warm here - like today when it was RAINING. Raining. In the Arctic. In late January. Don't get me wrong, it's not tropical (and a thin sheet of water over a layer of ice makes for some seriously treacherous walking), but it's still a lot warmer than I'd imagined.
6) You cannot see the Northern Lights if it's foggy. Even if you really want to, even if you stay up way past your bedtime and go trekking across a frozen lake in the dead of night.