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Forums » Smalltalk » AMA: Former Arctic Dweller

It's not as great as everyone else's, but it was an interesting three years!

I once lived above the arctic circle, in a place called 'Cambridge Bay, Nunavut'. It was a little town surrounded by a vast arctic wasteland. My reason for being there was a job at a KFC/Pizza-Hut combo-restaurant that was attached to the only grocery store in the entire town. We had another restaurant, but it was literally just two of them.

Here's an aerial view so you can see how far it's surrounded by 'wasteland'.

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Oh! That's pretty cool. :)

Any interesting wildlife encounters?
Is it one of those 'everyone knows everyone' kind of towns?
Rook Topic Starter

Juls wrote:
Oh! That's pretty cool. :)

Any interesting wildlife encounters?
Is it one of those 'everyone knows everyone' kind of towns?

Myself personally? No. Plenty of stories, had a bear by the house but I never got to see him. The most I got to see were the ravens, and they liked to play chicken at the window with my cats. They'd swoop by the window, and see if they could get my cats to jump down. One of the birds bonked his head and was not happy about it.

It was! A lot of the people came to the restaurant, rarely saw new faces about the first year.
Oh wow! Did you have polar night or midnight sun? What are they like?

And what are some things you just couldn't get in your tiny city? Or luxuries other people may be used to.
Rook Topic Starter

We did! It was very hard to get used to. The midnight sun made it harder to fall asleep, and we had to cover up the windows completely in the bedroom just so it remained dark. I wasn't a fan of the polar night, because there was always the chance something could show up while I was taking my dog out. We had one day where the power went out in the entire town, and if you looked out the window, you could only see black.

I think mostly just alcohol, since it was a dry town. You could order the stuff or bring it in when you went somewhere, but otherwise, no liquor store. Video games, too, were something you needed to order in. Otherwise, I think the stores got a lot. For vet care, there was a group that only came in once a year or so, so if your animal needed something, you'd have to fly them out to another place which could be a hassle too.
Fascinating! How long did you live there for? What was the worst/best experience you've had? What were the coldest/warmest months?
Rook Topic Starter

Three years! Worst experience was getting pneumonia, getting told it was just an irritated throat and having to deal with it for a couple more days before I told them they were wrong.

Best one was when the german cruiseship showed up. They were pretty interesting people to have around!

The coldest ones were Dec-Feb, and we had a lot of blizzards nearly burying places in snow, since we had no treeline to deal with the wind. The warmest were usually April-July, but it was more spring than summer. Not too hot, not too cold - it would've been perfect, if not for the mosquitoes.
Any traditional foods or activities that you were able to enjoy while you were there?
Did you find the job and apply because of the location, or did you find the location and apply for the job?
Rook Topic Starter

There weren't a lot of traditional activities actually done much outside families, I believe! As for traditional foods, I had dried caribou and candied arctic char, the char was my favorite and I enjoyed when people were able to make it up at the store.

I applied for the job, mostly, and the location was just the bonus. I enjoy going to new places, and it was exciting to be able to have that sort of thing under my belt.

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