Friday, August 30, 2013

My First Arctic Housing Adventure

    My last post cover my travel to the Arctic and how different it was to travel in the south. Today my story is on housing. This fits in with a post a few days ago when I asked if you were ready to move out of the house.

   One of the things I looked forward to when I went north was to have a place of my own. This would be the first time with my own place as before this I always boarded. At that time, most single guys took board and room. There weren't very many apartments available. It was common for people to take in boarders for extra money. I had the same landlady for three years and she was awesome. She spoiled me rotten. She was better than home.

    So with my northern posting I was supposed to get a single staff apartment. This was a small bed sitting apartment. So your sofa was made into a bed. Each night the sofa was opened up and you made your bed. Each morning your bedding was taken off and folded in a closet.The kitchen stove had three burners and the fridge was half sized, 

    Soon after I was hired I received a letter informing me that they did not have an apartment for me. They would put me in the student hostel. This sounded like a good deal. I would have my private room and receive my meals in the hostel. This would be like living in a hotel! The hostel was a facility that held 350 kids.

    When I got off the airplane at 2 A M and met the Superintendent, he gave me an apartment key. I said, "But I am to stay in the hostel." "No," he said, "We now have an apartment for you." So no notification that plans had changed. Just tell the guy when he gets off the plane.

   If I had known about this change, I think I would have talked to Mom about cooking, cleaning and clothes washing. I might have even found a cook book. I might have even brought some kitchen gadgets. 
  For food at that time you were given what was called a ration. In other words you were given enough food for one year. Opening this big box and storing the food in your locker was a big job.

   So along with some travel surprises I also had a lodging surprise. But hey, not too worry. This was fun.