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, March 04, 2010

My Parka: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Other Coats

Once upon a time, I was a brand new Nunavummiuq who had never experienced a Nunavut winter (ohmigawd to think!). It's hard to imagine now such a time existed, but it's true. The year was 2006 and back when I was naive and the "newbie" part of my blog was still true, I purchased for myself Canada Goose's Mystique parka.

Here's a recent photo of me wearing my purchase.

(That's me in Igloolik!)

The parka cost in the range of $600 from Weaver & Devore in Yellowknife. I had no idea what I was in store for buying a parka I'd never seen, for the harshest winters in Canada I'd never experienced.

This winter marks my 4th winter in Nunavut. Whenever the topic comes up, Canada Goose parkas ALWAYS come highly recommended from me. I don't care how good other brands are, I don't want to wear anything out there that WASN'T designed for this weather.

But after 4 winters of wearing my parka from October/November to April, I will tell you that I can't stand it anymore. I rarely speak of negative things on my blog, but I have a secret: I hate my parka. It comes out of nothing except being sick of wearing it, and being too cheap to buy another one.

Let me discuss the ways I hate this parka.

The colour: It was the only option I had at the time and I can tell you, this is Canada Goose's ugliest colour besides plain white (I can't fathom why on earth anyone would buy a white parka where it is always snowy, but that's beside the point). My parka is basically the colour of vomit. Or of coffee with too much cream. Which brings me to my next point.

The stains: I admit, part of the reason I hate my parka is because of how disgusting it has become. After roughly 26 months of wearing it, it has acted as a bib, splash guard, and napkin countless times. Despite the fact the parka is the colour of coffee, it still manages to display a lovely collage of coffee stains. Splatter art? I think not. Being that I'm too cheap, lazy, and distrusting to have it dry cleaned, I've resigned myself to living with the numerous stains (which, trust me, do not end at just coffee). The good news is that if I'm ever stranded on the land, I could probably eat the outside of my parka and get enough nutritional intake to survive awhile.

The hood: To anyone thinking of buying this parka, I will tell you that the length is great, but the hood is terrible. There is some kind of velcro contraption on it that does NOTHING and there is no drawstring or anything to hold the hood on your head. When I lived in the Kivalliq, land of constant violent winds, the hood might as well have been gone with the wind (ha ha I'm so funny). In fact, the hood is pointless unless there is zero wind (a rarity, I assure you). With wind, you have to hold it on your head or wrap a scarf around the outside of the hood. I cannot understand why a company that puts such effective, well-thought out hoods on its other parkas failed to do anything even remotely useful for this parka.

The malfunctions: Okay, maybe I am getting picky now, but sometime toward the end of winter 2008/2009, the zipper started falling apart. For many months I was unable to unzip it completely and had to resort to stepping in the thing. I will admit the zipper has seen a LOT of use, but it still disappoints me that for the money paid for it, things are falling apart. Don't even get me started on the cuffs. The cuffs are a ripped up mess and won't last another winter, I know that for sure.

The look: Can I tell you how many times I've been told I look like I'm wearing a sleeping bag? Please? Oh wait, I can't, it's too many times to count. Actually, I get the comment so often that it makes me laugh. I had thought the same thing about it when I first got it.

Anyway, this entry isn't going to wrap up with some cute "but I love my parka anyway!!!" I wrap up this entry by telling you that I avoid the parka whenever necessary. And I also wrap it up by posting a geeky photo of me using my parka as a blanket, which it came in decidedly handy for a cold plane.

Dear parka,

We've been together a long time, but I think your days of hard work will be over soon.

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