Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Singing the Blues

While I can't say I regret being up here or that I don't enjoy every minute of my time here, I do have flashes of missing the south.

Yesterday was horrible, we had 100km/hr winds and blowing snow, if that doesn't make you miss a warm Ontario day, I don't know what would. My house was shaking so bad from the wind, the water in my toilet had waves! I am starting to cultivate a little cabin fever and I haven't seen the sun in days! Mostly I think a few little things are starting to get to me living up north, things I really miss about the south. For example, sometimes I would just like to wear a pair of heels or some kind of work of beauty on my foot, but alas the boot of rubber is what I get. I love my stiff rubber boots, it's just sometimes I want to wear something that matches my outfit and doesn't make me feel like my name should be Jenny-sue! Sometimes I just want to be able to go to Starbucks first thing in the morning, get a Fru-Fru Latte and stand in line while listening to classy Cuban music! Sometimes I just want to go to 7-11 at 2am, get a Dr.Pepper Slurpy and then complain about how far behind the times we are because there isn't a 24/hr Walmart that I can go to after and do a little late night shopping. Yes I would shop at 2am, given the chance. There is a store in the States called Meijers that I have been to in the wee hours of the morning and lived through their many isles with an excitement. Sometimes I would like to just get on a bus, put on my headphones and ride anonymously for an hour without recognizing everyone, or have anyone notice or wonder what I am doing. Sometimes I'd like to just slip below the radar when I leave the house and not worry about anybody else's business or worry that they are worrying about mine. Most of these things have their charms in opposite living in a small community, but I came from a large city and just sometimes I enjoy being in a place where no one knows your name, you have destinations at all hours of the night to visit, good coffee is abundantly available and there are multiple radio stations to choose from.

One thing I miss the most are sounds and smells. How are the fresh smells of the pumpkins going to be this year or the far away cries of a train in the distance be without my ears to hear them. I miss the hum of cars racing away on the highway as it sooths me to sleep. Up here I get the bloody screams of dogs and ravens, while the dogs torment the ravens and the ravens torment the dogs, and the dogs torment the other dogs and so on. These are all things that I thought I could forget about, but i really can't and I don't think I will ever. The North is my home for now, but it will never be where I am complete. I am more sympathetic now when an Inuk tells me they can't stand Ottawa because they can't see anything for all the trees and buildings.


Offsite said...

I found the Starbucks in Kanata... it's right across the street from the Henry's :-)

We'll go.

Offsite said...

I think I've come to realize that a medium sized suburban community is the place for me. Some place where the streets are like London, and the jobs are like Toronto.

Obviously I couldn't handle living in the north, that's clear. But Living in the downtown has been grating on the nerves. Every morning I am woken up by some disturbance. This morning it was some guy using a steel shovel on asphalt to scrape up debris. The sounds is so close, I am obliged to go look out the window to make sure the car is not being destroyed.

One time it was guys cutting down trees (a branch almost did smoke the car). The other day it was Hydro doing some massive operation on a transformer station. The windows were buzzing all morning. Then there's the firetrucks. We used to joke about the "daily inferno" in London. Here it really is daily, and often a few times. Then there's the cruisers, they rip the shit out their engines, gassing it at every intersection with the obligatory "blooop.... blooop." Car alarms obviously are a problem, especially when they're left to run for their duration "ooo eee oooe, woo woo woo, blooooooeeeeee, heee haa heee haaa. blau blau blau." The morning delivery trucks are left to idle while being unloaded. The neighborhood being built on bedrock means the energy is transfered straight from the cylinders to your skull.

There's garbage all over the lawn; every day its something new; you name it: newspapers, rubber gloves, bones.

The nice thing about not having trees at least is you don't get bird shit on your car every day. The birds above our driveway eat purple berries that turns into lilac shit on the windshield. The wipers... the do nothing.

Right now I'm hearing the beep beep of some fucking truck backing up for the last two minutes and someone running a circular saw.

Now it's autumn, the place doesn't stink like garbage and fish so much, but for whatever reason the bums have returned from their summerland. There are key bum placement points where they're always standing. I don't know how they communicate to eachother where the best spots are, but there's always someone in a bum placement point, even though they're never the same person.

So yea, ready to move back to the burbs. Staying at the new place tonight actually. Cheers jen.

towniebastard said...

It's too early to start going nuts, Jen. You've got to reserve the really crazy stuff for February. That's when everyone starts to lose their shit.

For the record, I empathize. I hug trees when I go down south. I spend hours in Chapters. Most southerners living in Nunavut have the things they pine for. You just have to make sure you have lots of the little things to keep you sane while living up here.

Julie said...

Dear Jen of Nunavut,

I miss you.

Julie of Ontario

Jackie S said...

You know what Jen, it's funny.
I was thinking the other day about the things I think I'll miss most up here, and the pretty shoes and Starbucks were the two things on my list.

I will so most definitely survive without, and I have plans for going home this Christmas, but I guess it's a common experience eh?

Kara and Matt said...

I'm with Towniebastard- it is too early to start cracking up :)

I am in luck because I was never much a shoe or starbucks kinda girl. I do however miss grocery stores a lot. I grew up on a farm about 50km from the nearest town, so I actually find it odd to be able to walk to the store and I hate that I look out my windows into other people yards. One day I hope we have a whole schwak load of property and I don't have to listen to all of my neighbours and the skidoos whipping by!

Julie said...

ps> you look like Han Solo frozen in carbonite in that photo. lol

Kennie said...

I have to agree with townie ... it is too early to be going "nuts" ... but I will say, the one thing I miss the most is a Boston Cream Doughnut and a large black Tim's Coffee. Luckily, I was able to nab a doughnut from a lady in Iqaluit who was flying back up North from Ottawa on my way back to Arctic Bay.

So February is when we should all start "cracking"? (lol)

Jen said...

Thanks everyone for your support, I haven't gone crazy yet!
But all north and no south make me go something...something...go crazy, Don't mind if I do!

Kate Nova said...

There's a quality of light when the sun is coming down that always kills me at this time of the year, makes me homesick for nothing in particular. It came a bit earlier here, but felt just the same, and the red on the tundra could almost be a stand-in for the turning leaves back home. :)

Clare said...

Like so many things, I have a slightly different outlook. I imagine that most of that comes from the fact that this is home. I live here, I'm not making a home here waiting for the rest of my life to unfold. When I tell people that I haven't been south for four years prior to France in the spring and Manitoba in the summer of this year, they look at me with a sense of horror/sympathy that they can't disguise. But you wouldn't give that same look to someone from Ottawa who hasn't been away from Ottawa in four years.

I do miss things from down south, mostly my family, and choices. I hate that it costs so much money to fly out of here, and consequently that I don't get to see my parents and that my children hardly know their grandparents.

When I was in the Force I always pined for something else. I enjoyed the places I was in, but I knew that I'd be moving in a couple of years. I think that always, always leads to wanting something from somewhere else - A starbucks instead of Joes Diner, or Joe's Diner instead of the Starbucks; A movie theatre instead of the local hockey team, or the local hockey team instead of a theatre.

The light does have a certain quality up here, especially now as we hurtle towards November 5th and the sun setting for 3 months. But it is an amazing quality that it had, and a beauty I wouldn't change for all of the Starbucks in the world, or god forbid a 24 hour Walmart.