Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virtual Tour of My Apartment

I woke up early this morning to pack my stuff up in my hotel room to make sure I'd be ready to move first thing this morning into my new apartment in town.  The moving company that trucked all my stuff up to Hay River for me called last night to let me know they would be delivering it today, which happened to work out perfectly since I'd actually have a place to move it into! Like I said, I woke up early to pack. I set my alarm for 7 am so that I would have time to pack up my hotel room and be ready to move first thing.  However, I had only been in the hotel room for 2 days and I only had one duffle bag with me - I did not have a lot of stuff, and the majority of it was still folded neatly in my duffle bag. Plus I hadn't actually confirmed with the landlord that I would be taking the apartment yet, I had decided to think about it over night to just make sure I was happy with my compromise. I had eaten breakfast, and was completely packed by 7:30 am. 7:30am is too early to be making phone calls so I had to hang out watching tv for a few hours until it was late enough to phone people. I called the landlord around 9am and she said I could move into the apartment anytime, to just stop by the office and get the key.   Yesterday she mentioned she would pick me up since I don't have a vehicle, but today she didn't mention it.  I looked in my good ol trusty Yellow Pages but there were no cab companies listed for Hay River. Eek!  I now had no way to actually physically move, other than lugging my stuff all the way to town which was really really unappealing.  So being sneaky like I am, I called the landlord back to ask her about the existence of cabs with the hopes that she might just offer to shuttle me.  Two good things came out of this exchange: 1) She gave me a ride and 2) As I was waiting at the door for her to come get me, a cab drove by and I was able to put the number in my cell phone for future use.  I scored a ride and the cab info! I was appreciative of the ride, even though she forgot about me and I had to text her to remind her I existed over an hour after she was supposed to pick me up. It all worked out though and I got to my new apartment about an hour before the moving truck was due to arrive.

All my stuff arrived in one piece! It also arrived frozen solid. I had heard horror stories about expensive groceries up North so I packed a lot of food with me.  It's all currently thawing in my cupboards.  It is so so so nice to have a pretty much fully stocked pantry upon moving into a new place. There is nothing worse then having to spend a million dollars on condiments and spices and staples that you're used to always having on hand. It's so nice to open the cupboards and have them be full without having just been to the grocery store. Best thing I could have done for myself moving up here!

I start work tomorrow! It's been nice to have a few days to get settled and to move in and everything but I am ready to get working! Specially since I just paid a deposit and one month of bank account needs me to be working. I'm a little bit terrified of being incompetent but I'm also giddy with excitement at having a real, honest-to-goodness grown-up job!

I'm quite cozy in my new apartment now that I'm all moved in!  When you first walk through the door, there is a bit of an entry way with the door the the bathroom on your right and a big closet to your left. Take a few steps forward and you're in my bedroom slash living room!  There is a bed, a chair, a tv and a hutch and 2 big closets. At the far end and to the left of my room is the teeny tiny kitchen.  It's a bachelor apartment so it's really all just one big room, but I think it will suite me just fine over the next year.

My Boarding Pass from Edmonton to Hay River....please note that its hand written!
Downtown Hay River - North Mart is the Grocery Store.

Looking from my kitchen into the rest of my apartment.

My teeny tiny kitchen (with fully stocked cupboards :)

My little reading / tv nook.

My Bathroom - shower and tub are to the left of the toilet.
I'm off to aerobics again tonight with Stacey (my coworker who is also a new grad, from Newfoundland)!  Hopefully I'll be flailing a bit less this time. On the bright side, based on Monday night I can only improve!

Hay River, Northwest Territories

I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of this blog! I finished my Dietetic Internship a little over 2 weeks ago and have since moved to Hay River, Northwest Territories for my very first grown-up job! I’ll be working as a Community Dietitian for the next year as I cover a maternity leave position. I’m really excited to start working! Obviously it will be nice to finally get a paycheck after working full time for 40 weeks for free, but mostly I’m excited to get experience working in my field. My job will entail seeing clients one on one in the office, as well as getting my hands dirty within the community through presentations and workshops that I’ll be giving.

 I’ve only been in Hay River for 2 days, but so far so good! I flew from Toronto to Edmonton to Hay River on Monday. The flight from Edmonton to Hay River was on a tiny plane that only had 16 seats on it, 6 of which were occupied. The flight attendant sat in the cockpit with the pilot and gave us crackers, cheese and kielbasa as an in-flight snack – best in flight snack ever!. The airport in Hay River is one room. The luggage belt is approximately 6 ft long and it only takes 2 minutes for the luggage to make it from the plane to the belt. I couldn’t help but think that this is what it must feel like to be a movie star with a private jet...if any movie star in their right mind would decide to travel to Hay River. 

Last night after I got to the hotel and dumped my stuff, I went to an aerobics class with a co-worker. I was the one flailing in the back. I’m incredibly uncoordinated and generally avoid aerobics classes, but it was actually fun! Plus it was a great way to meet some people. I took the opportunity to ask around about car pooling to the ski club and inquiring about different programs that were offered in the community. Specifically I’m looking for a swim team and a book club to join. There’s no swim club, just lane swims, and apparently the library will start up a book club if I mention it to them and they can get other people interested.

 “Downtown” is a way more happening place than I thought it would be! There is a grocery store, a library, a drug store, several apartment buildings / hotels, a brand new community center with a 25m pool and hockey arena, a bowling alley, liquor store etc. We even have a movie theatre! (I say we as if Hay River is my hometown even though I've been here for a mere 48 hours) It’s one of only two theatres in the entire Northwest Territories! I expected it to only play super old movies, but the current options are the newest Twilight and Tower Heist…not half bad!

 I spent the day apartment hunting. Housing is quite expensive here. I ended up settling on a bachelor apartment. It’s fairly small but at least it’s my own space. I had to find a balance between price and space. There was a one bedroom apartment I liked much better and that had a TON more space, but it was also several hundred dollars more each month. There was also a bedroom in a 3 bedroom house up for grabs that was WAY cheaper but had shared kitchen and living spaces. The bachelor seemed like a good compromise - not as much space but it's my space, and the price was in the middle of the two other options. I’m only here a year, and the leases are just month to month so I can always change my mind and move somewhere more spacious if I start to get cabin fever in my tiny bachelor.

 When I wasn’t apartment hunting, I spent the rest of the day lounging around my hotel room reading and watching tv. I’m not going to lie, I’m already sick of television! Except for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, which I am currently indulging in as I type this. I also took the time today to read the Yellow Pages from Cover to Cover just incase I found something fun to do in it that I hadn’t already considered. Mostly I just learned about how much cool stuff there is to do in Yellowknife relative to Hay River. But I have a feeling I’ll keep myself busy nonetheless!

 It’s only been two days but I already feel like I’ve learned some valuable lessons!
 1. When looking to rent a place, make sure you indicate that you don’t have a car. As soon as renters realize you wont be using electricity to plug a car in then the price drops dramatically.

 2. Regardless of how cold it is, you will sweat while walking in a Canada Goose Coat. Your legs however, if covered by only one pair of pants, will not. In fact the skin will freeze solid in a matter of seconds.

3. It is possible for your nose to run even though your snot and nostrils freeze solid the second you walk outside.

4. Short socks and big boots result in socks that fall off and ankle blisters that bleed.

Pictures to Follow Shortly!

*Written November 29th, Posted November 30th*