Monday, June 16, 2008

It's been one week

We have been in Baker Lake for almost one entire week now, and needless to say, we have learned quite a bit. Here is a list of things that we have learned thus far:

  • No matter what the make or model of your four wheeler or ATV is, it is called a Honda. Likewise, no matter what the make or model of your snow mobile is, it is called a machine.
  • The most common answer to any question posed to a local here is “I don’t know”. Example: “Where is the bathroom?” “I don’t know."
  • If you have a fur, and there is the slightest of tears in it, the entire fur is deemed worthless and it is thrown out (or in most cases, under the house).
  • Even though the ice on the lake is starting to melt, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t park your machine (skidoo) on it. Well, according to the locals that is.
  • DO NOT SEND US BOOZE IN THE MAIL! Apparently it is illegal to send alcohol by mail. In order to obtain booze in Baker Lake, you must go to the arena and apply for a permit. Once you are issued a permit, you are then allowed to order alcohol that will be shipped in by plane. More about this issue will be talked about in the next blog.
  • If you catch a fish in the lake that is seven or eight pounds in weight, you throw it back because it isn’t big enough!
  • It is common to keep it in the family! (Yes, that is the sound of banjos in the background.)
  • We wear our sunglasses at night. Maybe Corey Hart wrote that song about living in the north. We have yet to see darkness.
  • Watermelon can only be bought in the store pre-sliced because to buy a full water melon would cost $85!!
  • No matter how good of a job you do dusting the shelves, you’ll just have to do it again 20 minutes later during the summer.
  • Grace now knows how to cut a key!
  • When a local comes into the store to buy a propane blow torch, odds are it isn’t for handy work, but that it is for “hot knifing”... in order to smoke marijuana... oh boy...
  • Unfortunately, we are too far inland to see polar bears. However, grizzly bears have been known to wander in at times. However, when the caribou show up, THEY SHOW UP!
  • If you get lost, forget all you learned in boy scouts about using a compass. They are useless up here because we are too close to the magnetic north pole.
  • Forget everything you were taught about being at work 5-10 minutes prior to the start of your shift. If you are 10 minutes late, great! You’re doing great just to get your employees to show up on time. (This, of course, is in reference to the locals here.)
  • If you ask an Inuit person a yes or no question the answer will either be raising their eyebrows (yes) or a scrunched up face (no).
  • At any given time, if there is a big event in town, everyone will be there.
  • When killing your first animal, it is custom for the Inuit people to take it to the elders in town instead of keeping any of it for themselves.
  • It is common that there would be 30 people in a kindergarten class. It is also common that that same class would only be four people when they graduate grade 12.
As you can see, we have learned quite a bit so far and there is definitely a lot more to learn. Today we plan on taking a walk around the town to see some things and figure out where other things are since we have a day off from work. The other night, Mike took some pictures of the “night” sky around midnight. They are posted below.

So long for now!

View out of the front window towards the lake.
View out of the front window away from the lake.
View out of the back window towards the barge that got iced in last winter. Yes, that is ice on the lake.


Anonymous said...

Dude...its day all the time? I totally thought it would have been the opposite...maybe thats closer towards winter...
Hope you are loving it!


William said...

Need's heavier drapes.