Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life In Iqaluit

What is life like here?

I think a few people at home, as well as a few here in the North have been waiting for this post.
I'm no Nunavut expert and I've only been here a little over a week but, here are some of the things we've noticed and some of the great discoveries we've made being here so far. Some things are funny in comparison, others are a real taste of life, either way life up here is different in the best of ways.

I'd like to begin with the most important discovery yet. Steph makes unbelievably good pancakes. Seriously. Since we only brought a few essential and easy to make items with us on our flight, our diets have consisted of Pancakes, Tea, "Presidents Choice White Chedder Macaroni & Cheese", and Honey-nut Cheerios! But Steph is the Gordon Ramsey of pancake making. For 3 years now, I've known her to be a master of 2 dishes: Spaghetti and White Sauce (a Secret Family Recipe), and the aforementioned PC White Cheddar so, you can imagine my surprise when she woke me up asking "Would you like some Apple Cinnamon Pancakes?". At first, I thought she'd picked up some of those ready-to-make Eggo Pancakes. You should've seen my face when I saw her using real ground cinnamon and pieces of diced apple. So there you go, Steph = Pancake Goddess.

Since the first hour we stepped on Nunavut ground, the people here have been incredibly friendly. I think that's one of the most important things everyone needs to know about life up here. People wave at you, they say hello, they stop their cars to let you cross the road even if you aren't at a walkway. I've been working at the pub for a week and I have regulars. People who remember my name, asked to be served by me, bring things in to show me; you name it. I pick up Steph at work when I can and last week I saw her joking with one of her patients on her way out. It made me feel warm and happy. People here are less self-involved and more out-going. It's not a population of hippies of anything, there are still people who keep to themselves. It's just that people here are more trusting at first and seem warmer and more eager to be-friend you and welcome you in.

Talking to people back home has left me with the impression that some people are picturing life up here as a community of Igloo's in a winter Ewok Village, without food or clean water, Eskimos everywhere. It's just not true. It's like any other town anywhere else in Ontario/Canada, just without a Tim Hortons. The differences are what you make them. We came here for the adventure and the change of pace. So far, we've got a great dose of both. When you really do the math, life up here is . . . dare I say it . . . better than life at times in Ontario. Monotany up here is a choice, not a lifestyle. There is plenty to do, you just have to reach for it. And how convenient is it that everything you need here in town is within arms reach.

Steph and I walk around town warm and smiling. Sure, we haven't experienced the cold of the winter here yet but, we love this place without the snow already. Add a little shimmering white, it can only make it that much more beautiful. Bring the snow. We read countless amounts of blog's and received a libraries worth of advice so we're prepared to survive the cold.

We love how small and easy-going it is. Life here is simple. We take it as it comes and we make the best of what we take. It's not a tropical paradise or anything extravagant, but that's what we love about it. For us it's the culture, the lifestyle, the beautiful scenery, the crisp clean air, the healthier living. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's not for everyone but, it's definitely for us.

Last night we both caught our first glimpse of the Northern Lights. Even if there isn't much to do, there's no Beer Store, the food is more expensive, there aren't any trees and they don't have any beers on tap, seeing those lights is enough to make anyone alive live or be here.

With all of that said, let's lighten things up a bit. Here are some other observations:

- I've heard Jennifer Paige's "Crush" everyday since I've been here. Yes . . THAT song.
- Still no sign of PolarMan!
- Nobody Honks their car horn
- They don't play any Oasis on Raven Rock (the local radio station)
- Capital One will not let me change my address to anything in Nunavut.
- Tips here are amazing
- Uphill walking is slightly difficult when you're in the shape we're in!
- Northern Blogs are more than a community, it's a lifestyle.
- Townie Bastard might live above us
- We miss Draft Beer!
- Pizza Hut is healthier for you here!
- I've spoke more french in the past two weeks than the last 17 years
- Cats love Beer-Can Boxes
- Smoking was the stupidest habit I ever had.
- How beautiful the Northern Lights are

- How happy we both are here and how happy we are that we made this decision.


Megan said...

We are very pleased to have you in our little blogging community.

Megan in Yellowknife

towniebastard said...

You know, I think I might. I believe that was Stephanie I saw last night coming into the building when I was taking Boo out for a walk. It was certainly a new face I hadn't seen before, so I assume it was her.

How you guys managed to move in without us noticing is beyond me, but it's been known to happen.

If you want to pop up for a cup of flour, a glass of wine or something, just give us a heads up to make ourselves presentable. We're in 304.

Jordan~Stephanie said...

haha oh my gosh yes! i thought it might have been you and your pup . . . that's what made me mention it to Jordan!

i'm glad we didn't cause much of a disturbance when we moved in last week, however i don't know if you'll be so lucky this week when the movers deliver our stuff! hope it's not too disruptive.

we'd be glad to meet up with the two of you some point. we'll drop you a line once we're all settled in!

sarahegn said...

Hey guys glad to hear your loving life up there. I got my 18 page relocation papers today wowsers! Very cool.
I love the videos by the way they are super in helping me explain things to the family and friends please keep them coming every so often

bea's blog said...

Hei from Europe,
this was a very long and intresting and entertaining post! Thanx for that!
Very good to hear about life in the very North. It has always been a challange to me...but so far I made it only to Quebec and the very northern part of Ontario! I though lived for many years in Norway what is indeed an experience as well.
Looking forward to your upcoming posts - I will definitely follow.
European Greetings

Neverbeen2NYC said...

No draft beer? Bummer. Is there a variety of beer at the pub? If so, is there anything out of the ordinary?

indigo said...

Mass registration is not to be missed.

Saturday mornings in the Frob lobby for crafts

Sunday brunch at the Frob - very worthwhile

Jewellery and other treasures at the museum - best prices retail in iqaluit

movie night with free commentary by the owner - not to be missed

Saturday morning yard sales, most are over by now. The spring is REALLY great for this

Baffin Electronincs for fabrics.

Rannva's out in Apex for gorgeous sealskin designs

the really hig/low neap tide is coming up. check out the breakwater for this

Jordan~Stephanie said...

amazing tips indigo!

thanks so much :)

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Love the list of other observations!!

Morena said...

I love your attitude! I came here with an open mind and love it but not everyone is the same. I'm glad your happy here. AND, I had the same problem with Capital One. What's up with that? My bills now go to New Brunswick.

Tara Muise said...

ya, capital one is weird. they froze my card the 2nd day i was in the north because i had used it to make a phone call. apparently any bell call you make on a public phone - anywhere in canada - looks like you're calling from montreal. what concerns me, though, is how they knew i wasn't actually in montreal making those calls. very weird. thankfully, they were pretty good at fixing it...bill payment all online now.

Smitten Kitten said...

I'm so glad to have come across your blog. Me and my man are seriously considering moving North and your posts so far have been really helpful in easing my nerves and upping the excitement factor.