Friday, May 29, 2009

Daylight follow-up

So Kennie raised a good point in a previous post about daylight that I completely forgot. I knew it, but somehow it just completely escaped my mind. And that is you can certainly control the amount of daylight entering your home, but it's harder to control the amount of noise entering it.

Iqaluit is different than most of the smaller communities in Nunavut. There is a larger population of southerners living here. Estimates vary, but I imagine the number of non-Inuit living here to be around 40 per cent. So because of that population, coupled with this being a government and business centre, people tend to keep more regular hours. At least during the week.

I'm not saying that come July there won't be plenty of people out wandering around at 2 a.m. playing hockey or doing whatever. Someone collected the garbage from The Snack the other night at 11:30 p.m. and was singing quite loudly while doing it. Lord knows when we were living above the bar at the 6-story we would hear interesting things outside at 2 am. Things happen when it's bright outside for 24 hours.

But I think you get the noise a lot more in the smaller communities. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but in those communities, the Inuit population is normally 90 per cent or more. And the Inuit, until recent years, have never really paid that much attention to time. If it's sunny 24 hours a day, does it matter what "time" it is and what time you're supposed to be in bed? If it's sunny outside and you want to play soccer, go for a walk outside or invite your friend over to play video games, who cares if it's 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. The difference in sunlight is minimal.

So yeah, obviously you need different mechanisms to get to sleep in those places. I suggest earplugs and investing in some kind of alarm clock that can wake you even if you're wearing them. One that vibrates, or flashes strobe lighting or sounds off like an air raid siren until you wake. There's plenty of alarm clocks, I guess it's just a matter of finding the right one.

But yet, just something else to consider when moving north. It's not just the light; it's the escalation in noise that accompanies the light.

I don't understand why so many people find 24 hours of daylight cool. My father has said he'd like to visit during that time of the year. It really can be a pain in the ass to deal with at times.

Last Five
1. Long may your run - Neil Young*
2. Better off as we are - Blue Rodeo
3. A common disaster - Cowboy Junkies
4. A case of you (live) - Diana Krall
5. Line of best fit - Death Cab For Cuties

3 comments:

Adam Snider said...

I think people find it cool because it's a north experience for people who don't live in the north. Even here in Edmonton, where it can be bright out until almost 11pm in the summer, people who are from farther south thing it's weird and interesting that it stays light out for so long here, simply because they aren't used to it.

With regard to the 24 hour light in the northern territories, I'd imagine most of the people who think it's cool are visitors---tourists---who don't have to keep normal hours. I thought it was kind of neat when I was in the Yukon last summer, but I know that it would probably drive me slightly crazy if I lived there permanently and had to keep regular hours. Going to bed at 1 or 2am on a Tuesday isn't really a good idea when you've got to go to work the next morning.

Aida said...

its not too bad, we live in the middle of town now. there's definitely more activity now than in winter. its almost 11pm here and its only starting to get dark.

personally, i have a love and hate r/ship with 24 hours daylight. it does wreck the kids and my schedule a little but on the flip side, i can still walk outside at 10pm and its still light.

Nunavummiut Jaime said...

So far it's been quiet on my side of town (Lego Land). Green Row was another story, though. I'm not lying when I say I couldn't keep my window open at night. If I left it open and went to bed, there was a 100% chance I'd wake up to sounds of kids playing at Nakasuk School, or more frequently, sounds of screaming drunks walking home. Without fail, every night.

I personally love the 24 hours of light. I love coming home at midnight and it feeling like an accomplishment because it's still light out. I also love the extra energy I have. I'm normally a drowsy person but in the summer, I could stay awake all night.

Jaime