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.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas in the North

Here I am again, spending yet another bitterly cold winter in one of the coldest places on the planet.

On December 1st, 2006, I was walking home from school for lunch and all of a sudden I thought to myself, "What the hell kind of crazy am I? It's December 1st, unofficially winter, and I live in the f&%@ing ARCTIC." Of course, as we all come to know, it's nowhere as bad as the hype.

Two winters later and I've become blase about it. I think I'm starting to understand the kids I see out in the dead of winter with a thin coat and no toque. I've come to the point now where fashion feels more important, but it could just be this whole big city thing (haha). People in Iqaluit definitely dress up more than Rankin Inlet in the regard that fashion and style seem more important to people here. Janice and I went out to dinner the other night and she said she noticed that she was the only person she saw properly dressed for the cold.

This year I have a vehicle so if I'm just driving somewhere quickly, it's a pain to haul on the giant parka. I'd sooner wear a lighter coat and risk freezing for 10 seconds.

So along with this being my third winter, it's also my third Christmas spent in Nunavut. I'm not a big fan of Christmas so I've never gone back to Ontario for it. I like that it's a quiet ordeal here and I don't have to worry about finding myself in a crowded mall. I also like that so many people leave for Christmas so it's even quieter.

I'm expecting this Christmas to be a good one. I'm not a fan of talking about my personal life here, but I will admit that I have a boyfriend and he's coming to Iqaluit (from Cape Dorset) to spend it with me. He was going to be the first person to ever come to Iqaluit strictly for the purpose of visiting me, but in an act of total awesomeness, my best friend from Ontario decided to visit this month, too. She'll be here next week and I'm thrilled. I'm so excited to show someone how I live my life here.

Anyone who lives here knows it can be hard to convince southern loved ones to come visit. It's very expensive and -30C doesn't sound too appealing to southerners. I know people whose relatives come visit every few months and I hope they don't take it for granted. It took over 2 years for someone to come see me so it's a big deal to me!

Anyway, while Tori is here, we are going to go dogsledding. This is also on the agenda:
-A trip to North Mart. I can't wait to see her reaction to prices. I wish someone could have seen them in Rankin since it's so much cheaper here!
-Hike around Apex, weather permitting.
-Drinking in a bar, Nunavut style (The Storehouse)
-Walk down The Road to Nowhere, of course. Can't come to Iqaluit and not go Nowhere!
-Visit the museum and visitors centre

And whatever else I think of.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some photos of the recent huge craft sale and the purchases I made there.

The line up just to get in! I went early and was at the front of the line, so I was able to wait in the vestibule (of the Arctic Winter Games arena). There are lots of people you can't even see in this picture, like how many other people were in the vestibule. We were packed in like sardines. The people I was with brought a thermos of hot chocolate, mugs, and cake. Geniuses indeed!

This was about 20 minutes after it started and there was still a line outside!

Okpik and plaster Alaskan family. I couldn't resist; I've never seen anything like them before (the dolls).

Oh the things they can do with bone!

Vintage Cape Dorset calendars.

Okay, the other things I bought are Christmas presents so I'm not posting photos of them!

I didn't buy this at the craft sale:

The first and only carving I've ever bought and I'm quite fond of it.

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