It has now been a little more than six months since we unloaded our sealift from the beach here in Iqaluit. At the time we honestly wondered where the hell we were going to put everything. This is, as I have lamented, a wee apartment. We ordered a lot of stuff: cases of crackers, cereal, popcorn, different kinds of soup, tins of fruit, puddings, fruit juice, bread mix, cookie and brownie mix, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towel, soft drinks and more. Basically if it is non-perishable, you order it. Somehow, we squeezed it all in, but there were days when it felt like the sealift was living in the apartment, not us.
As might be expected, all of this has disappeared at different rates. For example, the cereal was not exactly to our liking, so it's taking a long time to vanish. We probably have about another month or so supply of popcorn left. The last of the soft drinks vanished late last week.
I think we did ok considering it was our first go at this sort of thing. Trying to estimate how much supplies you're going to need for a year is a tricky business. I guess my forefathers did a better job of figuring out how much molasses and flour they were going to need for a year, but they had a bit more at stake than us.
As for why people sealift, the simple answer is cost. It's expensive to live up north. By buying items in bulk and having them shipped to Iqaluit, you can save a nice chunk of money. Of course, it also means spending a whole lot of money at once. It's one thing to go down to the store and drop $100 or $200 on stuff. It hurts, but you get used to it. But dropping $3,500, which is how much we spent last year, in one shot kind of makes you wince a bit.
So we've picked up a book of supply items last week. I think we're going with a different company this year. They're slightly cheaper than the company we dealt with last year, and will deliver the stuff straight to your house, which is nice. That was an additional expense last fall we hadn't counted on.
We're really hoping we don't have to spend as much as we did last year. Which I think will happen. Some of the more expensive items, such as cleaning supplies, shampoo and soap we have enough left over to get us through another year. We are going to have to up our order for soft drinks and juice, which we grossly underestimated. Maybe a bit more soup and popcorn. Those sorts of things.
It's not terribly exciting, but it's one of the rituals of living up north. We just have to figure out when we want it delivered. The boats start arriving in July, I believe, and stop in early October.
First addendum: The fire alarm went off at 4 a.m. last night. On the upside, at least fire department people and building maintenance people showed up this time. On the downside, it was still four in the morning. A wiring fault of some kind, I believe, is being given as the excuse. One more reason to get out of this place.
Second addendum: Thanks for the dog suggestions so far. One other thing to consider. Cathy is, and I know this sounds retarded, slightly allergic to dogs. She just doesn't care anymore. So heavy shedders, such as the corgi, are kind of right out. As are beagles, which can set her off in less than a minute.
But the Portuguese water dogs look nice. I think they might have made the short list.
Last 5 on iPod
1. All because of you - U2
2. Cold, cold ground - Tom Waits
3. Narc - Interpol
4. Oh girl - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
5. Lakeside park - Rush