Thursday, April 07, 2011

Blackberries and shawarma

I've written before that telecommunications up here tend to be a little...different, than what most people experience down south. If I had a dollar for every time I read a tweet saying how much Northwest Tel sucked, I could pay off my mortgage in about half the time. To say there is hatred over NWTel in Iqaluit would be an understatement. It mostly starts with how bad the internet is. If you're paying $120 a month for internet and suffering with a 10 gig cap, you'd at least like the speed to be not disgusting and for it to be reliable.

That doesn't happen very often, alas. Hence our reasons for switching to Xplorenet last year.

The other thing that's cursed on is the cell phone service. Iqaluit only got cell service in the past five years, I believe. I know there wasn't any when we first moved here in 2005. And if you listen to some people around town, what's here now isn't all that great. Let's take today, for example. Blackberry service in town was almost completely useless. And why was that? Because there was a conference in town. That meant a couple of hundred extra people in town, all checking their Blackberry. Which, it seems, overloaded the local network's ability to handle traffic. So there were a lot of grumpy people around town today.

On the upside, we have a new restaurant in town. Anywhere else, not such a big deal. New restaurants don't open every day in Iqaluit. They don't open every year, for that matter. But for some reason, a family decided to open a shawarma and donair shop in town. Everybody is pretty excited by this. Cathy and I have eaten there twice and it's tasty. Judging by the line-up at lunch time today, they're off to a good start.

It does mean the end of another long term establishment in town, though. Fantasy Palace, a long-time coffee shop in town, is no more. So no longer will new arrivals leave the airport, glance to their left, see the name Fantasy Palace and assume it was the local strip joint. It's the loss of a local landmark and the first local coffee shop killed by Tim Hortons. I don't think too many people were surprised to see it go, to be honest.

But hey, shawarma. And the Grind and Brew started serving pizza late last year, which is also not bad. If we could get some good Mexican and Indian food, we'd be all set.

Last Five
1. I will follow (live) - U2
2. In the neighbourhood - Tom Waits*
3. The world we live in - The Killers
4. Talk to me - Bruce Springsteen
5. Living with the masses - Sloan


-N- said...

I saw the Shawarma place as I was passing through on Wednesday, but I was confused by the "coming soon" sign so didn't try it. I was thrilled to see it though- nice lunch option close to the airport for those of us pausing on our way further north. I miss the Subway franchise- most expensive 6" sandwich in the world, but again, it was close to the airport and nice and quick.

Simon Lono said...

I loved the Fantasy Place. It was a relief to walk out of -40c windy snow into a tropical decor however cheesy. And the coffee and sweets were not bad either!