Today, quite independent of each other, Cathy and I managed to have our "I fucking hate Iqaluit" moment.
These things happen, by the way. You can try and be as serene and zen about the challenges of living in a place this isolated as you want. You can chuckle at the price of food or the cost of getting a plane ticket. You can get amusement from recent arrivals frustrations with the way things are up here. We've been here in Iqaluit for nearly five years now (Cathy recently celebrated her sixth year in Nunavut as she spent a year in Rankin) and we're pretty much used to the little frustrations Nunavut throws at you. You try to not let them get to you. "It's the North" becomes you're calming mantra.
That doesn't mean there aren't breaking points. Today was one of them.
Cathy appeared to hit hers first. We haven't seen the bill for the sea lift show up on our Visa yet. I'm perfectly happy not to spend several thousand dollars, but when it's not showing up there was causing concern. So she called, finally got someone who knew what they were talking about and found out all the supplies we bought back in early July haven't been crated yet. Why? Because the sealift boats are running horribly behind schedule, something I kind of feared as I haven't seen one in the bay in weeks. So yes, not even crated yet, let alone in Montreal or even on a boat.
The supplies were supposed to arrive at the end of August. Our most optimistic estimate has it arriving in mid-September. Could even be towards the end of September. To call this frustrating is not even really quite close to cutting it.
My "fuck Iqaluit" moment came when I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new washer. It's been 10 days without one, most of that time spent trying to find someone to come and fix it. Except the guy who used to do it doesn't do it anymore. He said he might drop by, and then decided not to. Then there was the guy who might be able to do it, except everyone says he's a bit of a pain and probably wouldn't so there was no sense even trying.
I finally got found someone who would, except it took four days for him to get back to me, and when told what the problem was, pronounced it the motor, that it would cost more than $1,000 in parts and labour to fix, and take weeks. For that matter, he wasn't even sure he could fix it, because it really wasn't his field of expertise. So I was really just better off buying a new one.
Except there are only two washing machines for sale in town as best I can find. Northmart apparently doesn't have any in. Dryers, yes. Washers, no. So I went to Arctic Furnishings. They told me they had two when I checked on the weekend. However, when I swung by today, oooops, the guy had made a mistake. They only have one.
It's $1,600. Plus tax. Plus $50 for delivery. So $1,700. Frankly, if I'm going to spend $1,700 on just a washing machine, I'm expecting it to perform sexual acts when it's not cleaning clothes.
I can't do it. I can't spent that much money on a washing machine. I will go to Frobuild and buy a metre stick and start cleaning my clothes in the tub using the stick to stir it up. Or perhaps someone has a grandmother with an old scrubbing board kicking around that they can send me.
Oh yes, there is the laundromat. I nearly forgot. It's $10 a load. That's washing, drying and the soap, but still...
We will get over this. A broken washing machine isn't going to be the tipping point where we decide we're done with Iqaluit. Not by a long shot. We're just having one of those "Oh for fuck's sake..." kind of days. We don't expect things to be easy up here, but do they have to be completely arsed up, where something as simple as a broken washing machine has become a multi-week drama?
The one good thing in this annoyance is that we might be able to get Ishop4u people to buy a washing machine for us and get it put with our uncrated stuff in Ottawa. We won't get it for another month or so, but at least we'll get a washing machine that we want and hopefully won't break us. We'll see. I have one last lead to check tomorrow. If that bottoms out, then we have to either wait until a new batch of machines comes in on one of the delayed sealift boats or buy one in Ottawa and try to get it shipped up.
So yes, the joys of Iqaluit. It's been a day. Where's the scotch...
1. Jump with my baby - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2. Happiness is a warm gun - The Beatles*
3. Slips and tangles - The Weakerthans
4. Makin' sunshine - The Trews
5. When the night feels my song - Bedouin Soundclash