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, May 26, 2009

Vacation Rituals

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, my twin. No sign of her, my appearance must have gone back to obscurity. Even when Happy Birthday was sung to me in the midst of wing night at the Storehouse, nobody came up to me and said, "Hey Molly, happy birthday!" Phew! Maybe I really do have my own identity here.

Well, it's 11pm and for the past week or so, I've been having to force myself to go to sleep. Right now it is a bit dark, but light enough that I can make out buildings across town (I have quite the view). This is my normal reaction to the prolonged sunlight. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to affect me much in the morning after a night of sub-par sleep; I just have so much energy to go around.

In one day less of a month, I will be on vacation. Yay! My sister and I are going out west to Edmonton and Jasper and I can't wait! My sister has never been to any provinces outside of Ontario and has never been on an airplane. I'm pretty excited about just seeing her reaction to such a different atmosphere. I have a full week booked for our trip which includes the West Edmonton Mall and outdoor day adventures in Jasper National Park.

Upon my arrival back to Ontario in early July, I have nearly 3 solid weeks to relax and visit. Let me tell you, this blogger needs a tan badly. There will be days of nothing but sunshine, patio chairs, trashy novels, and fresh fruit.

This will be my 4th visit back to Ontario since moving to Nunavut in August 2006. I don't think I'm alone in saying that we develop rituals on our vacations. My Sarnia rituals are:

1. Going to Sunripe. This is a small store in Sarnia that sells primarily produce, but also has delicious baked goods, dips, seafood, and other organic and healthy foods. I LOVE this store. I always stock up there within 24 hours of being in Sarnia so that for the rest of my vacation I can hoard cheese sticks (with their amazing eggplant dip), chocolate-covered pretzels, homemade cookies, and fresh cherries. I always buy those same 6 things, a stay in Sarnia just wouldn't be right without one of those.

2. Ordering a cake from William's Pastry. It is shameful how much sugar I ingest while in Sarnia, but if I had to choose just one ritual, it would be ordering my plain white cake from William's. I don't even know how to write in words just how good their cake is. Oh yes, and I always buy some of their famous oatmeal cookies. Man, it's sad just how much I look forward to food.

3. Many drives through Canatara Park. If time permits, I will always take the long way to go anywhere so that I can drive through the park. It's not hard to understand why when the north is so barren.

4. A drive up the lake. I was fortunate enough to be raised about 600 metres from the shore of Lake Huron. I love that lake and always miss it when I'm away.

5. Weather-permitting (I've been to Sarnia once in the winter), at least one bike ride can be expected of my holidays. I love biking through Sarnia on summer nights and hope some day I live somewhere that I can take summer night bike rides under the trees.

6. Of course, visiting the fam. That's a given!

Of all the things I love about holidays, I think the following picture sums up quite nicely why sometimes it's nice to get away for awhile.

Feel free to tell me about your own vacation rituals, I'd love to hear them.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wanted: My Twin

So it seems I have a twin in this town. Finally. In London, people were always asking me if I was related to so-and-so, because I looked just like them. Then in Rankin, the same thing happened. "Are you sure you didn't live here like, ten years ago? I could have sworn you did."

It was a relief to move here when apparently I was the first person to look like me. But then on Thursday at North Mart, someone confused me for someone else. I found it funny, until yesterday when I was mistaken for "Molly." This was funny for another reason: I was hauling a large a box of liquor to my car. Molly must be throwing a party soon, too, or she's about thisclose to joining a 12-step program.

In reality, I'm not at all surprised when people confuse me. I am pretty generic looking. Aside from my tattoo and death-defying clumsiness, not much tells me apart from other 20-something girls. But I want to meet this Molly and see if she really does look like me.

In other news, we had a blizzard yesterday. While this is my third "spring" in Nunavut, it still took me a bit by surprise. I think this is the latest I've ever experienced a blizzard. I know there was one in May or June in Rankin in 2007, but I was on holidays and missed it (I got a sunburn that day, actually). Despite my shaking apartment, rattling windows, vibrating tinfoil (on the window above my bed), and a verifiable draft coming from the window, I still managed to fall asleep around 7pm last night. I awoke at 9am, feeling refreshed and ready to commence Saturday cleaning. And people wonder why I don't want kids! I'll take 14 hours of undisturbed sleep over changing diapers any day.

Anyway, it's that time of year again. The time when the grocery stores run out of kitty litter and cat food. I have about 4 days left of food and am kind of nervous about it. I had to make a food order last year from Marche Central just for some litter. Looks like I'll be making one again on Monday. I've been putting off making a sealift order for cat food and litter, but I guess I should.

Well, I hope all the southerners reading this are enjoying their warm long weekend. I'll be in my house with the heat turned up, hoping the snow melts any day now.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mid-May Rambles

I'm alive...I think. I've been so tired the last two weeks or so. I'm not alone on that, it seems to be an Iqaluit-wide problem. Or at least, my work-wide. There's been a stomach bug going around town for awhile. It finally caught up to me and pretty much everybody I see on a daily basis. Since then, we've all been fatigued. So I blame my lack of posts on a 24 hour stomach bug I had once. Haha.

Anyway, not much has been going on with me. Oh, there's the odd big thing here and there, but not blog-worthy.

1. My apartment is great. I'm slowly trying to decorate it. I bought a rug on eBay. eBay is basically my best friend because you can choose an object you want and there are so many options to pick from. So many poor sods list with flat rate shipping. It's too bad they can't hear my diabolical, greedy laughter from up here. I bought an area rug fairly cheaply ($199 tax, exchange, and shipping exclusive). It was sent via FedEx and arrived fairly quickly.

b) The Shopping Channel is dangerous. This is the main problem I have with the cable company. Everything else is great...but the Shopping Channel has an evil allure to it. I don't like it.

2. I started my new job, finally. From the date I applied to the date I started was 4 months. Not long in the land of government, but I was definitely eager to start. The new job is great, since you asked. I hadn't realized how stressed out I had become. Since I started the new job, I've relaxed considerably. It's a nice change from the last 2 years of tension (for one reason or another).

3. I went to Cape Dorset over Easter. I can't find my USB cord or I'd post photos. I got to see Jen again and meet little Ezri, who is every bit as cute as she looks in photos.

4. I've booked the bare bones of my next vacation. I leave in one month and 18 days. I should probably book a bit more. I'm taking my sister to the West Edmonton Mall. I'm also planning to take her to Jasper. Does anybody have experience with Jasper Adventure Centre? I'm planning to book a day or two with them. They seem pretty good and it's not too expensive.

During my holidays, I have 3 glorious weeks in my hometown to do absolutely nothing. It's really too bad that I'm flying through the Twilight books right now, because they would be perfect for reading on the beach. Oh well. I'll just have to ask some local preteens what they're reading and I should be set. That was a burn on myself. As much as I love Twilight, I do remind myself that 8-year-olds love it more.

5. The sun is setting much later these days. I don't know the exact time, but civil twilight is sometime around 10:30pm. It is too bad I won't be around for much of it this year as the summer is my favourite season in the north. I'm a little worried at the possibility of having a heat stroke during my holidays. I'm not used to the heat or humidity at all anymore so I kind of feel like I'm wittingly walking into the fiery depths of hell. September in Toronto last year was miserably muggy. I literally felt like someone had made me a jumpsuit of warm, damp sponges that I couldn't escape from. Vacationing during this time is also bad because I end up buying shorts and cute tops that serve no purpose up here.

6. I feel like my klutziness and absent-mindedness is at an all-time high lately. Today at lunch, I was heating up some mini pizzas for me and a friend. In the midst of chatter, I engaged the lock on the oven door. I don't know why, but it seized or something and would not unlock. I felt like an idiot calling our housing hotline, considering my record of making those calls never bodes well for my intelligence:
Call #1: "Um hi, I was turning on the dryer and the knob snapped off. I need a new knob."
Call #2: "Hi, I was trying to lock the door and my key snapped off in the lock...and I'm late for work."
Call #3: "Yeah hi, my house has no heat. I noticed it yesterday but thought it'd fix itself. Now it's freezing in here."
Call #4: "Hi, I was playing with my oven and now I can't open the door. The lock is stuck. There's pizza in there."

This past week, as I've told many people, I left shrimp to thaw in the cabinet. Only, I left it a little too long. Like, a week too long. I have never come close to vomiting from a smell, until Sunday. I don't have a weak stomach, but I will be avoiding shrimp for the next eternity or so. Despite being my favourite type of food, I tend to have a lot of problems with bacteria-infested seafood.

I won't even go into the story of how I fell out of my car while being driven home. If you know, you know. If not, well then, sorry you missed it!

That's all for me. This blog entry was mostly pointless. There probably won't be much to say in the next several weeks, I'm warning you now.

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