Think more north

Trip Start Mar 24, 2006
Trip End Mar 31, 2006

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Flag of Canada  ,
Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tonight, I write from my friend Anna's chesterfield, in her little bachelor pad. Buying the Most Expensive Plane Ticket Ever (TM) should have made it seem real, but it's only just sinking in that I'm actually here, more north than I've ever been before.

My flight left Ottawa at nine this morning. I was so bleary that I expected to sleep through the entire duration, but I didn't at all. I also expected there to be no food served, as it was only a three-hour flight, so I had breakfast at home and bought a doughnut and a bagel to take along. Wouldn't you know it, a mere half-hour after take-off, they brought us a full breakfast! Since I wasn't really that hungry, I saved the yogurt and mini box of cereal for Anna, but ate the rest. Then, but a few minutes after taking our trays away, they came by with enormour fresh cookies, their chocolate chips still gooey and hot. I suppose First Air is of a mind that if the passengers are busy stuffing their faces, they won't complain about anything. Not that there was anything to complain about, mind you, but don't you think other airlines should follow their lead, instead of eliminating food altogether? Did Air Canada even consider that a plane full of cranky, starving passengers is much more dangerous than a plane full of stuffed passengers trying not to spill milk in their fruit dish?

Also, leg room! I was the only one seated in my row and happened to be right next to the emergency exit. Unfortunately, it didn't really make much of a difference for a flight this long. I wonder, could I start a leg room savings account and cash in when I head for farther-flung places?

I couldn't see much through the window during most of the flight, as conditions were overcast; even when we weren't above the clouds, what was visible was a whole lot of white. You know, it being winter and all. But once our descent was announced, I took my digital camera out of my bag and prepared for... whatever I would see. At first, all I saw were vague shadows, mountains cloaked in white, the occasional dark rock showing through. As we neared the ground, the hills and rocks were thrown into sharper relief and I could see patterns in the snow, long winding drifts. I wonder if it was water underneath, or just the terrain.

Anna was there to greet me, still pinching herself to make sure that someone would really come out to godforsaken Baffin Island to see her. I'd seen her building from the air (sure enough, the only actual building worthy of the name) and when we got into the taxi, all she said was "To the 8-storey, please." We needed the taxi, you see, because although nothing is far from anything in Iqaluit, I had brought up a supply of Asian vegetables, Pocky and instant noodles, which required a large suitcase and a huge plastic storage bin, in addition to my carry-on luggage. When we finally made it into the apartment, Anna ripped everything open, squealing and repeatedly exclaiming "It's like Christmas!" as her eyes fell on CDs, bean sprouts, cans of mango juice and other various goodies.

Ashamed as I am to admit it, I completely failed to take advantage of the afternoon's lovely weather -- we stayed in all day, talking and unpacking, and I napped for a couple of hours this afternoon. I was too exhausted to think of going out. I'm afraid this is becoming a trend with me, and I'm undecided regarding the cause. When going halfway around the world, one is expected to be tired, but why would a flight to Vancouver or here (not even a change of time zones!) inspire such a desire for sleep? Most likely, it's because in both cases, I didn't worry too much about lacking sleep during the previous days, knowing I'd be able to catch up and relax during the trip.

Now it's time to break out the Pocky and the DVDs for some quality girly time. Tomorrow, Anna's promised me a true Nunavut blizzard, so whether or not we'll be able to actually explore Iqaluit on foot is yet to be determined. At the very least, I'll spend a few minutes outside, just to say that I've been in a true Arctic storm.
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