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, July 24, 2008


Just noticed that Jen tagged me in that 3 random facts meme.

1. I hate pasta and tuna (separately, that is, not together!). Many people seem to find this very unusual. I have not met many people who also dislike pasta or tuna.

2. When I'm very tired or stressed out, I hallucinate hearing a very loud noise as I'm falling asleep. It sounds like anything from the doorbell, my cell phone, the landline phone, a door slamming, or people talking in my room. This bothered me greatly until I found out it's a recognized problem...called Exploding Head Syndrome.

3. I document my life's happenings in 3 different journals. This one, a locked online journal, and a paper journal. I've been journaling for a decade now (since I was 12). I can't handle not writing at least once a day (generally in my online journal). It drives me crazy if I can't document everything.

I don't know who has or hasn't been tagged yet, so I'm tagging anyone who wants to do this!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blazing Through the Summer

Once again I find myself babysitting pets while a coworker is away. This time it's 2 cats and they are staying in their own house. I don't think I could handle 5 cats in one house. Well, that's a lie. I'd love to have 5 cats in one house but I'm not going to do that with someone else's cats in someone else's house (since the place I'm in isn't mine).

The perk of cat-sitting these two is that it comes with the use of a Chevy Blazer! Admittedly, I live extremely close to work and the grocery store, but it's still nice to have a vehicle to bum around in. I finally got to see Apex and the dump! Ah, the dump. Always a good time to be had at the dump. In actuality, if you look past the garbage you get a very nice view of Iqaluit.

On the topic of nice views, I need to buy a new digital camera. I bought a very cheap one in March because it's green. I chose form before function and it's a piece of crap.

If you're moving north, I highly suggest buying a decent camera beforehand because you will take loads of photos that you will have forever. Nice cameras make all the difference.

In other news, it is ridiculously hot here lately, as I have mentioned. It's been anywhere from 14-22 and it's just killer. It feels so much warmer than it really is. I haven't felt heat like this since I was down south...last June. I hate the heat and it makes me feel sick. Yesterday morning on the way to work, I thought I was going to throw up because I had felt so hot for the last few days. I felt stupid when I reminded myself where on the globe I live!

Of course, air conditioning is not an oft-used term up here. I've never seen a dwelling with one and very few business have a/c. This means your windows are always cranked open. My place doesn't seem to have screens for all the windows so only 3 can be opened (out of 6). I have a screen for my bedroom window but unfortunately I can't keep it open all night. I live next to the infamous White Row, a notoriously seedy part of town. I also live across from a playground. These two things combined mean that every single night I end up having to shut my window because there are either drunks or children screaming in front of my house. It was humorous at first, but now I just get extremely agitated and I slam the window shut, hoping they hear. I can count on zero hands the number of times I've been able to keep my window open all night.

Anyway. I've restarted the Structure of Inuktitut course I was working on in the winter. That time and this time I've been constructing a list of vocabularly to add to my Inuktitut dictionary (link on the right). After I finish this entry I am going to update it, so check it out. My dictionary is now a smorgusbord of Kivalliq and South Baffins dialects, but I guess that's okay.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer in Capital City

Where else in the world can you live and be dying for a little air conditioning...and it's only 14C outside? I'm sitting here in a tanktop, fanning myself, and it is only 14C! Granted my windows were closed all night while I was out, but it is really just ridiculous how hot 14C is.

It was very warm yesterday as well, so I went out for a walk and took some photos. Although I've been in the north for 2 years (3 summers), I forgot about this little equation:
Warm weather + bare flesh - bug-repellant = hell

Anytime the wind died down temporarily, mosquitos would come out of nowhere and swarm me. I was really getting annoyed with it and with myself for forgetting to spray some repellant on. In Rankin Inlet, the bugs weren't bad at all in town. It was as soon as you got past the buildings that they'd get annoying. But here they are just everywhere (as far as I can tell, I haven't been out on the land yet). The mosquitos are the only thing I truly dislike about living here. I can take the cold, the darkness, the sunlight, and everything else people nag about, but I hate the bugs.

Anyhoo, I'll post the photos at the end of this entry.

I found the other day that one of my close friends from Rankin Inlet will be coming to Iqaluit for work at the end of the month! I am beyond excited to see her. I'm excited to be able to show someone around. Nobody from down south has ever come to visit me, so this is the closest I'll get to that. I can't wait to bring her to the restaurants, movie theatre and the Storehouse. And I think some midnight Snack deliveries will be in order! Speaking of The Snack, I have an unhealthy addiction to their chicken burger ("The Snack chicken burger"). I just tried the poutine last night, too. I almost wish I hadn' was amazing. Anyway, I'll have a vehicle when Erin is here and I'll be able to take her on the dime tour. Erin will also get to meet Moon Unit and Dweezil, too.

It's great, I have so many things to look forward to!

And here for the first time in many months, are some photos:

This is the view from my front porch.

Dock thingy

The graveyard.

Iqaluit with the 8-storey building in the centre.

Apex way in the distance.

The mall and CBC.

Construction of the new Anglican church. They just tore the Kamotiq Inn restaurant down, and now they're replacing it with yet another igloo-shaped building.

Looking downtown.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Post-Solstice and Food Mail

Good afternoon from cloudy Iqaluit!

Well, the solstice has passed and with it brings a strange thing called darkness. It's been nice to see the sky get a little bit dark for awhile, though it still doesn't stay dark enough to allow for a good night's sleep without an eye mask.

Sadly, summer in Iqaluit hasn't proven to be very warm yet. It's still chilly enough to require a coat. This doesn't bother me too much, however, as one day it got up to 16C and I thought I was going to sweat to death. It felt like it was at least twice that hot. I don't know if I've just acclimatized extremely well, or if there's something funny going on with the atmosphere in the arctic.

I'm proud to say that in the last two weeks I've arranged a liquor order, food mail, and I went in on a deal with other people to have some flats of Coor's Light brought up on the sealift. All of these are things I've avoided in the past because they seemed complicated at a distance. Surprisingly, all 3 were remarkably easy to do. Especially the food mail, which I did today. The store I'm using for food mail is Marche central du nord. You can do everything online which is appealing to me. It seems much easier than the food mail orders I witnessed being made in Rankin, too.

What brought me to finally break down and make a food mail order was the complete lack of kitty litter in Iqaluit. The stores have been out for a few weeks now and I am getting extremely desperate. I have 3 cats so you can only imagine how desperate I am!

In other news, I should be getting my vehicle soon. I am extremely excited about it...I think I've mentioned that! As it turns out, my income tax refund should pay for the majority of the cost which is really quite convenient. Pay taxes, get a vehicle.

I've been trying to figure out where I will take vacation this fall. There are literally so many places I want to go and the only people I have to consult on it are me, myself, and I. I'm almost definitely going somewhere by myself which is exciting. I'm thinking about the following places: Texas, Florida, Maine/New Hampshire, Hawaii or some other southern resort.

I'll probably stick to North America as it's a bit cheaper, and I want to see more of the US states.

And because everybody up north is always thinking ahead for future vacations, my best friend and I have decided to go to Cairo together in February. This might even be more exciting than the new vehicle.

But back to Iqaluit. Canada Day was great! I had the pancake breakfast at the Arctic Winter Games arena which also housed a craft/rummage sale. Then I went to the parade which was short but sweet. Next came the pig roast we had for work which was also enjoyable. Then I ended the day at the Roots & Wings concert at the francophone centre. I've been to the francophone centre twice now and I really like it there. I get to brush up on my French by seeing great French concerts.

So far the thing I love most about Iqaluit is that I pretty much live my life the way I would if I was down south. I can go to the gym, the bar, the movie theatre, a fancy restaurant, and I can order fast food from The Snack at any time of day. I can pick between 3 different cafes, and I can get decent KFC and Pizza Hut. I can take my pick between probably 10 different newspapers, and countless magazines. The only things that are really missing are being able to see my family, going on road trips, and going to the mall. No offence to my family, but I don't really miss these things at all. At least, they aren't things I think about on a regular basis. One of my close friends here is moving back home in the winter and I know he's very happy about it. He talks a lot about the things he misses and how he doesn't understand how I could like it so much in the north. Since we frequently talk about this, it's really had me thinking about it. And I'm more sure than ever that I will spend the rest of my 20s and probably most of my 30s in the north. I've tried to imagine myself moving back to Ontario (and the south in general) and it just doesn't sit well with me. I truly, genuinely love it up north and as it stands right now, I have no plans to ever move back to a province.

I had someone tell me recently they liked my blog because I didn't just talk about how much I love it here. I was confused because I've rarely said anything negative. And for good reason: I don't have anything negative to say! I wonder if he was reading the right blog...