Saturday, May 3, 2008

Life's Little Mysteries and Suprises

[Lorraine writes] After a good break in southern Ontario, we're back in Iqaluit and settling back (after a restless period) into the rhythm of life here in Iqaluit again.

Its funny how, being back, you see things with 'fresh' eyes again. Sometimes it is the little things here that surprise me. Here are some of the everyday surprises I'm noticing again, here in Iqaluit:

1. Blue Bathroom Stains: I grew up on the prairies, and my mother battled valiantly (though mostly unsuccessfully) against the rust from the high iron content in our well water, so we lived with orange stains in sinks and tubs. So I am conditioned to think that bathroom stains are NATURALLY orange or red.

Not here. We get blue stains. Every time I scrub down the tub I marvel at how it builds up. Its from the high levels of copper sulfate in the water (or so I am told). Its very cool.

2. Kids Kids Everywhere: We have the youngest population in Canada here, with a high birth rate and big families. Everywhere you turn there are kids kids kids. Which gives a wonderful energy to a lot of life (and creates havoc in terms of scarce daycare and thus many parents forced to miss work days when childcare crises come up). Because the weather has warmed up, the back lot behind our apartment building is one constant melee of serious-looking hockey games, adolescent-girl dramas, and lots of kids and dogs milling around. A nice and entertaining harbinger of spring.

3. Snow that Melts even if the Outdoor Temperature is Below Freezing: When John and I first noticed this, we were flummoxed. It was -10, and the snow was melting like mad. What the ...... The spring sun is REALLY intense now (sunrise at 4 am, sunset at 9 PM with a couple extra hours of light on either end now). It hits the snow and melts it even when the air temperature is below freezing. Right now getting around is a bit messy, as your choice is to either walk through goopy mud (there is only one paved road through town) or melting snowbanks hiding big pools of water beneath. Who knew we would need not our trusty arctic Sorrels OR the good old rubber boots we schlepped up here with us, but INSULATED rubber boots (particularly if you do any ski-dooing, which we plan to do over the next couple weeks).

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