1. Official word came down today (and Bonnie mentioned it in a previous blog post) that the White Stripes will be playing in Iqaluit on June 27 at the Arctic Winter Games Complex. Also known as the building slowly descending into the tundra because they built it in the wrong spot.
So yes, not a hoax, not a dream, not some kind of sick joke by Jack and Meg, the White Stripes are actually going to play here. I found their release interesting, actually, in that they committed to playing in provinces, territories and states they've never played before. It's a pity more bands don't make that same kind of commitment. Not that I expect many would come here. You can't get bands to go to Newfoundland because they complain about the cost. I can only imagine the cost the band is going to experience playing here.
Still, how cool is that? And the fact that the tickets might only be $40 is astounding. I can barely buy a loaf of bread and a 2L of milk for $40. I would have bet money on them being more than $100 each. They should be going on sale perhaps as early as next week. They say about 500 tickets are going up for sale and despite the mocking I read on some site about how nobody other than polar bears would be going, the tickets are going to disappear fast. There's still 7,000 people in Iqaluit and they aren't all going to fit in that stadium...
2. With the good news comes the less than good news. Got a notice today informing me of a rent increase. And I had just been thinking the other day that I hadn't heard anything. Bollocks. Anyway, the rent is going up $105 to about $930 a month. For those thinking about coming here and gagging a bit on that price, keep in mind two other factors. A. We live in a very small apartment. B. Our rent is subsidized. Well, it is until 2010, when the government ends subsidizes for employees in Iqaluit.
Still, it's cheaper than the place we had in the 6-story. Oh yeah, also cleaner and quieter. We're not complaining...much. It's still an extra $100 a month. Let's not pretend that doesn't hurt.
And no, we're still not thinking about buying a house. I still can't get my mind around $350,000 for a home where we wouldn't own the land. Sorry.
3. I've always admired Roger Ebert tremendously. This only makes me admire him more. Obviously he's not about to get back on television any time soon. I'll be astonished if he's back this year. But I do hope he gets enough strength back to start writing again on a regular basis. I miss it.
4, This story has been making the rounds. It's also been discussed on a couple of blogs. I've commented on one of the blogs already, but I'll just reiterate the point here. I really do feel sorry for them. They were put into a stressful, unexpected situation where they felt threatened. I know I would have been freaked out. I don't know if I would have handled things much better than they did. And I admire their courage in coming forward and talking about what happened to them and warning others to be careful.
However, the first thing I thought of when I heard this story (and it was making the rounds before the media reported it) was "Why didn't they contact their embassy?" Yes, there was a lot happening and a lot of pressure. But by god I would make sure in some way, shape, form or manner, I was getting to speak to someone from my embassy. Or someone was going to call the embassy for me.
Maybe they did try although the resort manager is denying it (and saying other unpleasant things), I don't know. However, it does serve as a nice reminder for both myself and Cathy. We plan on doing a considerable amount of traveling over the next three years or so. Note to selves – make sure we have the number for the local embassy or consulate when traveling in case there is trouble.