Thursday, September 22, 2005

More on apartments

I mentioned in a previous post about apartment subsidies and the government getting out of that game. Here's something else to take into consideration which happens to directly affect me. According to some people I've spoken with, the Nunavut government actually has positions they need filled, but aren't even advertising them right now. Why? Because of the housing shortage that's happening throughout the territory. Those posting would come with housing, they don't have any, so why bother to advertise for it?

Because if they do fill it and have promised them housing and there is none then they will have to do for them what they did for us last month....put us up in a hotel. Which, as you might have figured, kind of sucks for me in the old job hunt.

We were pretty lucky. It was a very nice hotel (The Capital Suites. I'd recommend it, but it is a bit pricey and you can only book for a week at a time, as I understand it). We also had our apartment in less than a week.

As this article from the oft-quoted Nunatsiaq News points out, there are people worse off than us. One guy I ran into (who knew me from town. He's the hubby of a friend of a friend, if you can follow that) says that he and his wife, also a teacher, are still in a hotel and are being told they might have to wait to Christmas until they find a place. As best I can figure the only difference between us (he's also looking for work) is that we arrived on a Wednesday. They arrived three days later. So dumb luck on our part.

There is an upside to that. The government gives you a nice per diem (a little more than $100 per day, per person) for meals and whatnot. Which is great. However, it is difficult when you have your personal belongings crammed into a small room and when you have stuff you might need or want in storage. Nice for a few weeks, maybe. Kind of sucks if you have to do it for 3-4 months.

So when I carp a bit about the apartment, realize I'm very aware of how much worse it can be.

The good? It's located in what is a main complex in town. There are two apartment buildings, the 6-storey and 8-storey high rise (that's what they're called, honest to God) and government offices (if I get the policy job I appled for, I would work there, meaning I never have to go outside). There is also the pub (the only one in town), a fine dining restaurant (haven't eaten there yet), a convenience store, hotel, two movie theatres, a video rental store, sports equipment store, swimming pool and drug store. Not bad, really.

It's also secure. You need an electronic pass key to enter the apartment complex. That same electonic key is used in the elevator and is only good for your floor (makes it hard to visit the neighbours though). The apartment itself recently had a new coat of paint and was steam cleaned. And we have a bit of a view. Not a great view, but at least we're not staring at the apartment complex across the way, like the people on the other side of the hall have.

The downsides? It's a bit wee. If you ever visited us at our apartment on Bond Street, it's a bit bigger than the first floor of that place. It's going to be interesting to see what the place looks like when the last sealift arrives next weekend.

The walls are also a bit thin. To the right we have two apartments that like their music. The furthest one down has a fixation on Lifehouse's song "Hanging By A Moment", which is played with near clockwork precision every day. The people next door have been playing some sort of bizarre soft pop/country music/Black Sabbath mix.

Beneath us we have the pub, which we are slowly learning to tune out. Starts around 10 pm at night and for the next 2.5 hours we're subject to the dull whomp whomp of bad dance music.

Ah, but to the left we have the winner - the screaming nymphomaniac. I mean, I'm fairly secure in my sexual abilities, but sex three times a day for more than a week was beginning to cause some psychological harm. True, she could have been masturbating, but judging by how much the wall was moving, that was some pretty vigorous masturbation happening.

It's calmed down a bit this week. Either she's left, worn out or moving the bed to the other side of the room has helped.

The size and walls are minor annoyances that we can easily deal with. The final one is a bit more serious. There is a real problem with the air circulation in the complex. So when people smoke (and people smoke a lot in Iqaluit) we get the smell in our room. It comes and goes. For example, it was bad lunch time when Cathy was home, not so bad now as I'm typing. We bought an air purifyer, light scented candles and even crack up the window to let some air in.

The later is an option that's going to vanish in the next few weeks as it starts to snow and the temperature drops below 0 all the time.

It sucks and if it becomes a real problem during the winter then we're going to have to put in for a move. Which is a nuisance, but it's bothering me a bit. It's considerably more unpleasent for Cathy with her allergies.

So there you go. Apartment living. I'll post pictures once the last of our stuff arrives so you can get an idea of how we're cramming everything in.


NL-ExPatriate said...

Hanging rugs, hooked mats, decorative quilts, or the old stand by Dogs playing pool works so so for the sound. Same goes for the floor.
You could probably get some kind of tanned animal skin up there I'm guessing if your into that.

Looking forward to your moving blog.

Do they pay?
How much does it cost to move?
Will they move vehicles and boats?
Are 17 foot deep V boats even worth bringing, or do I need an Ice Breaker?
Would it be best to bring a ski doo, ATV or buy one there?
Will they move cats and dogs?

Oh and do you have high speed internet?

NL-ExPatriate said...

I actually stopped over in Iqaluit once on my way to Eureka on EllesMere Island. Didn't get to see much other than the tarmac and a nice gift shop in the airport.

Almost looked like a open pit mine only flat?

Also stopped over in Tule Greenland Cheap cheap booze. 5$ a litre.

towniebastard said...

1. Depends on the job. Seriously, you have to ask.

2. Because of a weird situation, we had to pay to move from St. John's to Iqaluit. Normally, they would cover it, but since Cathy worked in Rankin Inlet the previous school year, they covered her relocation from Rankin to Iqaluit. We were on our own from St. John's.

By the time you throw in two tickets, a couple of sea lifts for personal belongings, a car, dry good that we bought in Montreal (still cheaper to buy them there and ship them up than to buy them in Iqaluit) and other expenses, I think it's safe to say it cost us more than $10,000.

3. Nope. They cover up to a certain weight limit (I think around 1500 pounds). Cars and boats not included. It'll cost about $1000 to sea lift a car from Montreal to Iqaluit.

4. Plenty of boats around here as there is a fishing industry. Ice disappears around May I believe. It should return next month.

5. Not certain, don't really plan on acquiring either.

6. If they're helping you move, they normally tell you to pack about 10 bags, they'll cover the costs of the extra ones. That can include cats and dogs. Canadian North charges about $65 per animal.

I will mention this tomorrow, but be very, very careful moving pets. I lost my cat. No fault of the airline, but air travel can be highly stressful on animals.

7. And yes, they have high speed. However, they have a cap on downloads. 10,000 megs per month. Go over it and they charge you 2 cents per meg after that limit.

NL-ExPatriate said...


I've been wanting to minimalize my life anyway.

The wife applied for two jobs today one in Cambridge and one in Kugluktuk. OOPs hope she doesn't read this I could be in Big kaka "The Wife"
I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I'm looking at a map here, to bad there isn't a road to the northern part of LAbrador the ferry jaunt across wouldn't be so bad. They just deemed the TLH and route 430 up the Northern Peninsula, TCH status WooHoo!

NL-ExPatriate said...

LOL townie Bastard!
You don't know how many times I've uttered those words LMFAO.

Oh you mentioned here somewher you plan on doing alot of traveling. Where if you don't mind me asking?

towniebastard said...

Warm places. This place vacates at Christmas (all the Newfoundlanders heading home) and Easter (everyone tired of the cold, snow and dark and want some place with beaches).

We're looking at San Francisco to visit friends, followed by Italy and Greece. A trip to Australia or New Zealand is definitely planned, but is several years in the future.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Do you get that one trip a year paid for like military members posted in Goose Bay (Northern locations)? As well I know a teacher in Harrington Island who gets a similar option.

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