Friday, October 28, 2011

serious stuff

hey you guys, let's talk. i really miss my family and friends! i was trying to think of ways to avoid talking about this on my blog because i know you'll all cry and cry when you picture us up here shivering and pouting because we miss our people but i wanted to be honest. FULL disclosure. i pick my nose! okay wait, i'll dial it back on the disclosure.

we do really like it up here, but it feels lonely. time has been crawling by in a way that affects my morale a little bit. i was thinking of making a list of all of the things i miss but then i realized that if i had done that i probably would have finished the list off by marching to the airport and flying home. just kidding! anyway, i decided to make a list of the things that i like about iqaluit. here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

- the view
- our apartment
- living beside the ocean
- friendly people
- inuktitut
- all of the cute kids everywhere
- ??

okay i'll work on the list. tomorrow we're going to do some exploring and we'll take lots of pictures. then i'll do lots of creepy things because it's halloweeeeeeeen!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

dark dark dark

hi friends! sorry i've been such a bad blogger. i really have to blame the internet. we now pay $120/month for 10 gigs of internet. for those of you who don't know how much 10 gigs of internet is, it's really not a lot. 10 gigs is an appropriate amount of internet for someone who doesn't really understand what "the big deal with the internet" is. it's like being given 10 bites of spaghetti per month. for $120.

anyway, it's starting to get dark really early here. yesterday i left work at about 5:10 and it was already dark.

seriously! 5:00pm!

here's a random photo i took last week when we went on that long walk. this is right behind the school ian teaches at. i'm jealous of his view every day. the view from my office is four very lovely beige walls. ian's going to write a post with some pictures he took at school last week. spoiler alert! the photos are awesome.

in other news, we bought a car! huzzah! i think the car will help us not feel so alone. wait, did i say "us"? i meant me. ian is much less dramatic than i am. picture me sitting in our apartment rocking back and forth brushing a small strand of my own hair over and over and over. that's how fun it is to live in nunavut! just kidding, it's funner than that creepy scenario. we keep having to spend money on taxis to get groceries, etc. and we're sick of it! cabs are $6 per person to go anywhere in iqaluit. we got a good deal on a fancy little suzuki. today i'm going to get my nunavut license picture taken. wish me luck! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


last weekend we went for a walk in our backyard. it was windy and cold but totally worth it. as i've said before, we live on the road to nowhere. there isn't anything built up behind where we live - it's pure tundraaaa!

i took this from the first hill we climbed. i almost lost my life a few times because it was so slippery.

ian found berries! then he ate one. 

i looked up from taking that picture of the berries and there was ian, winning a race i didn't know was happening. dang! what a scoundrel. 

this crazy rocky tundra just goes on and on and on. that road you see there is the road to nowhere. it ends not too far from there. 

like a true surveyor, ian found a survey monument. hoorayyyyyyy.


"hey! look at this tall moss! take a picture of how tall this moss is!"

pricey pricey

today was a BEAUTIFUL day in grand ol' iqaluit. it was only -1 and it was hardly windy at all. ian and i went on a long walk all over the city. it was so nice out that i started regretting wearing long johnnies. we started our walk by going to ian's school. actually, we started our walk by going toward ian's school and then walking back to the apartment because ian forgot his wallet. anyway, the school that ian teaches at has a really amazing view of the sea. we walked down toward the water and then did a big loop toward downtown.

luckily, we found ourselves at the top of a hill looking down at the buildings downtown. you can see a lot of the most popular buildings in iqaluit in the picture below. you can see the bright yellow airport on the left at the edge of town. the white square building that looks like an ice burg below the airport is one of the schools. the roundy pointy building to the right of the school is a church. city hall is hidden but i'll take some pictures soon and post them. 

we ended up going to the museum and it was very neat. inuit tradition is so beautiful and interesting. after the museum we got some groceries. since i had the camera, i thought i'd give you an idea of some of the prices for groceries around here. 

$39.14 for a smallish pumpkin! we saw one for $50 last week but it wasn't there anymore so...apparently someone was willing to pay that.

margarine! good thing we don't eat this shit.

we used to drink orange juice. now the plan is just to bite the bullet and get scurvy. 

$21.99 for the smallest box of tide you can get. ughghghg. 

i put the camera away at this point because i was getting some looks re: taking pictures of groceries. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


well well well, look who came crawwwwwwling back to her own blog. sorry! we just finally got the internerd in our apartment. it takes a very long time to get things going 'round these parts. it's very slow internet and we pay $87/month for 5 gigs but it's totally worth it! saying "it's totally worth it" helps with the pain. "$7 for a small container of spinach?? WORTH IT!"

anyhoo, things are going well here. both ian and i are getting used to our new jobs. ian is teaching grade 7 and his school is about a 15 minute walk from our apartment. i work at city hall which is about 20 minutes downhill in the morning. i haven't walked home yet but it's veerrryy much uphill so we'll see how that goes. whoever said the tundra is flat is truly misinformed. truly misinformed indeed. our possessions finally arrived last thursday so we were able to move into our apartment! here are some photos.

this here be our apartment building. yarrr. it's the red one on the left. there are four buildings like this in a row. red blue red blue. they're very new buildings (not even really finished) and very nice on the inside. 

here's ian eating a coleslaw sandwich before the movers arrived. "coleslaw sandwich??" you say? "why yes, a coleslaw sandwich." i say. 
i've had a glass of wine. 

here i am feeling very overwhelmed by the boxes. eughgh. moving sucks. 

here's our view if you're staring straight ahead from our balcony (why do we have a balcony? i don't know). If you go down that road you'll get to ian's school. actually, if you look extremely closely just to the right of the telephone pole and just to the left of the top of the red house that's behind the greenish beige house (is this annoying? yes.) you'll see a bright green roof. that's the school that ian teaches at. 

here's the view to the left. we live on the road to nowhere so if you go left down that road it literally goes nowhere. 

here's the view to the right. if you go down that road it goes straight downtown. "downtown". the body of water right across the street is a little lakey thing. the body of water a bit farther away is the sea. 

we don't have any friends yet, but i have big plans to go stand on the streets to ask people if they're looking for extra friends. wish me luck! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

around town

hi! after work today i went for a wee walk about town. when i left it was snowing these giant beautiful snowflakes (but about 2 minutes after i got outside it stopped). the weather here is really funny and very unpredictable. today it was about -3 with no wind so it was totally reasonable. the last couple of days, however, have been VERY windy and thus very frustratingly cold. i took some pictures on my walk because i know that's what you're really looking for. i'll just see myself out.

there are two reasons why i took the picture above. one is the ravens. since we've been here, ravens are the only birds we've seen. they're HUGE and sound much more like humans trying to impersonate birds than actual birds. it's creepy and very loud. the second reason is that little cluster of lights off in the distance above the blue house. i think that's the final sealift of the season coming in. 

most people who live here order much of their year's worth of non-perishables via sealift. we missed it this year, but it's a good way for nunavummiuts (this is the nunavut version of "ontarian" or "saskatcheweiner") to stock up on cheaper products for the year. basically they spend lots of money on toilet paper, dog food, alcohol, kraft dinner, etc. and it comes in a crate on a giant boat. once it gets here, people store their products in their sealift room. our apartment has a sealift room (also known as our second bedroom). 

people drive cars here, but they also drive ATVs and snow machines. 

i found this weird boat graveyard. i got here by walking through the yard of a men's shelter.

these two pups were the first dogs (of many) i've walked by in iqaluit that didn't want to eat me. usually dogs run at you barking and drooling rabid saliva whilst picturing your juicy thighs on a platter. thanks, cute dogs in this picture.

as you can see in most of these pictures, the architecture is kind of unique here. i'll probably post more about that later. one thing you can probably see is that nothing has an actual foundation. because of the permafrost, everything is built above ground and usually on stilts. 

last but not least, i wanted to show you this funny trend. when people have big things shipped up here (cars or even just large sealift orders) they come in these big shipping containers. it's expensive to ship the containers back to quebec or ontario, so most people use them. they're all over town and are used for things like storage, a big freezer, and some people even use them as apartments. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

first day in iqaluit

did i tell you guys that our stuff hasn't arrived yet so we're living in a hotel for the next little while? i can't remember if i did. we're not sure when it will get here and when the movers will get it all into our apartment so the next couple of weeks are a bit up in the air.

anyway, our flight came in around noon today and after we got settled in our hotel room (which is very nice and more like an apartment than a hotel room), we hit the town. we went to the north mart which is the biggest of 2.5 small grocery stores here. it even comes equipped with a tim hortons, but it's more of a tim hortons "express" if you know what i mean. no? well it's a really crappy tim hortons.


we got some groceries for breakfasts and lunches this week (bananas, apples, carrots, yogurt, one loaf of bread, one package of pitas, a small jar of jam and a small container of peanut butter) for which the total was $66. instead of feeling like that was insane in the membrane, i got really excited about the freshness of the fruits and vegetables. even fresh spinach! my favourite thing! it's very expensive, but if you want to grow up to be popeye it's totally worth it.

after groceries, we walked around the town a bit. there were lots of extremely cute kids running around building snowpeople (and one snow monster with a hockey stick through it's head. it was weird) and tobogganing on any hill they could find. ian made friends with this one juice head who was pushing a giant snowball across the street to her house.

after that, my new colleague emma took us on an AMAZING tour of the city. she drove us all around and taught us a lot about what's what in iqaluit. we were surprised by how much there was to look at. there is also a surprising amount of sprawl here. for some stupid reason i didn't take the camera, but seriously you guys, this place is so beautiful. don't you worry, though, we'll take lots of pictures of everything. after the tour we went for another walk. here are some pictures from that.

everything is written in english and inuktitut. inuktitut is a vvveeerrrrrrryyyy awesome language. it looks cool, as you can see, but it also sounds cool. double threat, english!

a view of the bay (we're on baffin island and iqaluit is on the labrador sea in the north atlantic). the tide is super far out!

this boat just doesn't know what to do with itself. 

a view of part of iqaluit from the beach.

there are bones all over the beach. it's weird. here's one that ian wanted to take home.

the journey up

we're here!

on saturday we woke up at 3:30 am and went to the airport in toronto. we got on our flight to ottawa but after about 45 minutes of chilling on board we were told that there were some problems with one of the engines and that they were canceling the flight. dang! i was upset, but then i realized that i didn't want to die in an airplane crash so i then was thankful. air canada then put us on a new flight that was leaving about an hour later. the only problem with this was that it meant we would no longer be able to make our ottawa to iqaluit flight. double dang! after a few tears (there was a baby on our flight) (just kidding, i was the baby), we ended up in an ottawa hotel for the night.

here's ian being relaxed like a normal person.

here we are watching wizard (a hotel tradition, apparently).

we were lucky to have dinner in the byward market with my friend colleen who we haven't seen since our wedding in 2009. wahoo! this morning we got up at 6:00 am and got our booties to the airport. we got to our gate and were told that because of snow in iqaluit, the flight may end up landing in rankin inlet and we'd give it another go tomorrow (feel free to look at rankin inlet on a map. it is NOT on the way to iqaluit). this time i was drinking a smoothie so i was as cool as a cuke. we got on the flight and noticed that there were only about 10-15 rows of seats and then this wall:

when one of the flight attendants went through that cute tiny door on the left, ian noticed that the second half of the plane was full of cargo. i thought that was neat, but maybe it's boring. sorry! i'm new to blogging. aaaaanyway, the flight was great and we were very thankful to make it to iqaluit instead of stinky ol' rankin inlet. just kidding, rankin inlet! i couldn't believe how cloudy it was throughout the entire flight. even when the wheels came out you couldn't see anything. i waited and waited while staring out the window for my first glimpse of the tundra.

the pilot landed like a pro. it was snowing and windy windy but very beautiful. the airport was a zoo. it's tiny and the two flights that come in every day come in at the same time. it was a little bit overwhelming but the rest of the day made up for it. i'll write more about that later. for now, here are a few more photos.

the landing.

the yellow airport!

this awesome thing happened when we landed.