[Lorraine says] Its a lazy Sunday morning, and we are lounging in our hotel room listening to a Charles Trenet special on the local franco-Nunavut station. John is a Trenet fanatic, and met one of my new work colleagues, Andre, who hosts a French radio show on this station. When they got to gushing about Trenet (a French chansonnieur who wrote and sang songs --- like La Mer which became Bobby Darin's Beyond the Sea -- Andre promised to devote a couple hours of his program to Trenet. Which is what it is like here: everyone seems to volunteer for all kinds of community stuff (including lots of music stuff, which is fantastic), and everyone has been bending over backwards to make us feel welcome. Its so nice.
Likewise, my first day at work was extraordinarily warm and welcoming. There are a few people I remember from when I was here in 2001 for a couple months, but many new faces. I have already found out I have been appointed to a federal-provincial-territorial negotiating table which will mean a couple trips south a year, which is good (for knowing that I`ll be able to pick up stuff in the south occasionally, like fresh fruits, veg etc).
We have had our first sticker shock grocery shopping. $7 for a bag of apples, $10 for a small bottle of shampoo, green peppers for $4 each, etc. I am VERY grateful for my industrious mother`s efforts to dry all kinds of vegetables for us before we came up. Thanks Ella!
We are still living in the hotel, and will be for days or possibly weeks yet while we wait for suitable housing to come available. Its a long story, but getting housing here is a bit of a surrealist experience. Whether you get housing and what you get seems to depend on some kind of alignment of cosmic forces, bureaucratic vaguaries, and the convergence of mysterious forces. Meanwhile, all of our household goods are sitting freezing in a metal container at the airport (having arrived six weeks ahead of schedule, and now ready to be delivered once we have housing).