Nunavut Newbie v.2.0: Iqaluit Newbie

A journal that will hopefully help out anyone who is thinking about moving to Nunavut or anywhere in Northern Canada.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

10 Days In

So I have survived a week and a half!

So far I have eaten at 3 different restaurants: The Frobisher Inn, The Discovery Lodge, and The Nova. All three surpassed the nicest restaurant in Rankin which is a very nice change. However, The Discovery Lodge and The Nova were quite expensive. Many thanks to Janice, who treated me to dinner at The Nova. Although I had only been in town a few days, it was nice to see a familiar face.

I've got myself all hooked up with Qiniq and I am happy about that!

Work is going well and for the most part, the days go by quickly.

I'll hopefully be moving into my own place next week. I'm housesitting at the moment and I am so desperate to fully unpack my stuff. All of my things have been in Rubber Maid totes since the end of January and I am getting quite sick of it. I long to place things on shelves and in drawers. It's sad how strong such a banal desire is!

I've been driven around town enough now to have a basic understanding of where things are. I'm really hoping I am put into an apartment downtown because I do not own a vehicle and I'd rather not have to use taxis everytime I want groceries or to check the mail.

I'm enjoying being by myself. The first few days of being alone were strange but I've mostly adjusted to it now. I'm used to talking A LOT more than I am these days, so I feel like a total chatterbox when I call friends and family in Ontario. I really enjoy not being woken up at night, not having to share food, cleaning up my own messes, not having to remember to be considerate of someone else, not having to look at another person's mess, and best of all: not having to listen to another person or their music or TV shows. I am obsessed with silence. That's one thing I really like about the north. It's so quiet. You can go outside and hear absolutely nothing. I love that. So needless to say, only hearing myself in this townhouse is amazing.

I hope this blog is interesting in a two-fold kind of way. On one hand, I have just moved to a place where I don't know a soul, and on the other hand, this is my first time being completely on my own. I've never lived by myself before and I've never had to depend on myself so much. There's always been someone around to help me. So I hope if you're reading this that you'll look forward to reading about the tremendous growth experience I've just begun.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Go Figure

On Friday after work, I decided to walk to the Quickstop near the house I am staying in temporarily. If you know Iqaluit, it's the Quickstop on Apex Road. I was listening to my iPod as I walked because it's a long walk from work. I did some shopping and shoved my headphones in my bag. I was having a hard time with it because I'm a klutz and I was sweating profusely (my parka is huge). I didn't bother putting my headphones back on after I finished in the Quickstop because I hate juggling with ten million things.

Anyway, the next day I got suited up to walk to Arctic Ventures and I noticed I had lost one of the rubber earpieces from my headphones. It was nowhere. $80 headphones: garbage. They're unusable without the ear piece and the larger pieces they came with don't fit in my ear. Thankfully for me, there is a Radio Shack The Source by Circuit City in Arctic Ventures so I picked out another pair (with more earpieces, ugh).

Then today I was looking through my Rubbermaid totes for anything to entertain myself with. I found an old purse, opened it, and inside were my unused pair of iPod headphones. Arghh. At least I know the ones I bought are better quality.

Have I mentioned I love the fact that there's an electronics store here? I'm a pretty big geek, so I can only imagine how much time I'm going to be spending in there. I've already purchased a cell phone from it. My very first cell phone, no less. I am still figuring out all the functions but I can't for the life of me figure out how to change the time. I'm not technologically illiterate, I know how to navigate menus and everything, but there is nowhere to change the time. It's nowhere in the instruction manual. So I beg of you...if you own a Samsung m510, please tell me how to change the clock!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Nunavut Newbies v.2.0

I'm here in the big city!

My flight went smoothly. I was so nervous on the plane about whether someone would be picking me up at the airport. Thankfully, my new boss was there and so I calmed down a lot! He took me to the house where I'll be staying until the 14th. It's a very nice townhouse. Unfortunately, it's on the top of a hill (one of many, argh) and walking home from work is quite exhausting. I'm not sure where I'll be after the 14th, but hopefully I won't have to stay in too many more temporary homes. I bought so much house stuff on vacation and I'm eager to unpack it all and start living life in all green! That's right, I kind of have an obsession with green. I won't even make a list of all the green things I bought. You'd promptly close the window and swear to yourself you never knew one person could be so insane.

So, Iqaluit. These are the differences (compared to Rankin) that I've noticed so far:
1. Much bigger, obviously.
2. Hills. Everywhere. They make me not want to leave the house because it takes so long to walk everywhere and it's so tiring.
3. Loads of French people. I like it, I like the trilinguality (if that's a word) of this city. Plus it gives me a chance to use some of the French I learned in high school.
4. The Northern-brand bread is ACTUALLY soft here. I've had my loaf since Monday and it's still 100x softer than the freshest loaf I ever bought in Rankin.
5. 2L bottles of pop are $4.79. I almost fainted when I looked at my receipt.
6. I've already had more offers to buy carvings, jewelry, etc. in the last 4 days than I had in 6 months in Rankin.
7. It definitely has a more urban feel here. Maybe it's just because I don't know anyone, but I feel very anonymous here.
8. The Quickstop is actually convenient. I did a bit of grocery shopping in one today. I wish Rankin's was like the ones here!
9. The restaurants here are actually nice. Pricey, but nice.
10. There are so many taxis.

And although I had the same job in Rankin as I do here, my duties are quite a bit different. It mostly comes down to how the office is run and the larger number of people working in it, but I feel like I'm relearning everything over again. I'm excited about it, though. I loved my job in Rankin and it's great to be able to keep doing it.

The biggest challenge for me is going to be finding a brand new circle of friends. I'm not really sure how I'm going to go about doing that, but I definitely plan to start going to courses or whatever. I still have to figure out that stuff. I know there's way more to do here than Rankin, but I'm not exactly sure what there is yet!

Also, I'd like to point out that it is not cool to be offered a free dog when I miss my cat terribly (she's still in Rankin). I almost briefly considered it...almost. Then I remembered: I know nothing about dogs, especially large dogs, I don't even have my own place, and Leah would hate it (Leah being my cat). It'll be really nice to have my cat back. She'll make the adjustment phase of living alone much easier.

So all in all, I'm really liking it here so far. I can't wait to feel like I actually know what the heck is going on.