Friday, August 25, 2006

One year in...

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of our arrival in Iqaluit. We arrived on a cloudy day with the temperature a brisk 10 C, struggling with 10 pieces of luggage and a cat not really having a large clue about what we were in for. We survived, of course. Max the cat, alas, did not. It was a weird few weeks. We spent the first week in a hotel not knowing how long we were going to be stuck there. We then moved into an apartment that we considered shockingly small, little realizing less than a year later we'd willingly move into an even smaller place just to escape that apartment. There was culture shock for me, but not so much for Cathy who had spent the previous year in Rankin Inlet.

There were lots of little things those first few months. The lack of trees. The temperature getting cold by the end of September. The shocking price of food. Stuff like that.

Some people deal with it and move on. Others can't handle it and snap. I mentioned in the comments section in the past week that there was a local reporter blogging. She moved up at the end of June. She's given her notice and is leaving. It's nothing against her. It happens. If you're from the south you need a certain mindset to handle the isolation, the differences in culture, the weather and dozens of other little things.

And we've done fine as it turns out. I kind of thought we would, but it's nice to see that I was right. Some friends will point out that I groused mightily those first few months, but that's who I am. When I was with the Muse I was the God of Bitterness with special powers in Ranting and Sarcasm. Lesser beings wept when faced by my full fury. It's diminished over the years, mostly due to Cathy's soothing influence. But that doesn't mean it can't flare up when given the right motivation. I rant as a means of keeping myself sane.

We talked about it over supper this evening. Iqaluit is home, but not Home. It's possible that over the next few years it will grow us on and we'll opt to spend the next decade or so here. Or we could be five and out. We shall see. But for right not, we like it fine enough and it will do. Perhaps not the most glowing reference in the world, but we're from Newfoundland. I'm from St. John's. All other places in the world are lesser realms in comparison...

5 comments:

John Mutford said...

Maybe had I just come from St. John's (I love that city), I'd be saying "home" not "Home" too. But seeing as I just came from small town Newfoundland, already Iqaluit is looking more and more like Home all the time. Compared to Newfoundland small towns, Iqaluit has everything I want. Not saying I'll always feel that way, but if you really want to appreciate this place, move to Summerford for a year.

Clare said...

Congratulations. I've now been in Arctic Bay for 7 years, and I guess it's Home, although I still pine for Roblin. In someways it still seems like living in a foreign country.

Good luck in your second year. Maybe we can sit down sometime over coffee.

towniebastard said...

Claire, I'm not sure when I'm going to get up to your neck of the woods (although I would love to), but the next time you're in Iqaluit and if you have the time, by all means drop me a line and I'll treat you to the finest in non-Tims coffee Iqaluit has to offer.

And John, I spent three years in Clarenville. Is that close enough? ;)

dups said...

Congrats Craig... I HAVE to get up there in the next little while...

Dups

Simon said...

One year . . . I can respect that as a real accomplishment.