Archive for August, 2011

Happy Valley-Goose Bay: A Few Pictures

Posted in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Labrador with tags , on August 31, 2011 by Amanda

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Some progress!

Posted in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Labrador, Settling in with tags , , on August 27, 2011 by Amanda

I now have internet! It is not an easy thing to get at home here as both the phone and cable companies aren’t accepting new customers because there isn’t anymore bandwidth. Satellite internet is an option but I’ve heard it can be slower than dial-up. So I ended up getting a hub that runs on the cell phone network. It is apparently tha fastest option and it does seem fast thus far. There is, however, a pretty major catch: the data usage allowed is quite low. If I want to stay at the $45 per month plan I need to stay below 3G of use. I really don’t download much so it sounds like I will be probably be okay but I’ll definitely need to keep an eye on my internet usage. It was really driving me crazy to think of things I wanted to look up online but having no way of looking them up.

I now have a bed, a kitchen table and chairs (which I’m sadly still in the progress of putting together) and a couch. While it isn’t a lot of furniture, it is enough for me to feel comfortable.

I found a $20 tv at a yard sale today. I still have to figure out what I’ll do for tv though; it looks like it will have to be satellite and there are two companies to choose from. By the way, there were a lot of yard sales today but for some reason they seemed to be mostly selling clothes. I did find some glasses though for $2 for a set of four.

I have also found a car. I need to get insurance arranged for it on Monday and hopefully I’ll be able to get the car on Monday afternoon.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Thus Far

Posted in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Labrador, Settling in with tags , , on August 25, 2011 by Amanda

My three flights went quite smoothly. I found that the airport in Montreal was a lot worse than I’d expected while the one in Halifax was much better than I’d expected. As the flight from Halifax to Goose Bay is economy only I was seated in seat 1A which clearly something that hasn’t happened to me before. It was nice to not have to walk through the plane at all!

I’ve done some shopping and the prices are definitely strange; some things are really expensive while others are okay. I am thinking this may make me eat less which certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing. I was happy to find Yves products (such as veggie burgers) and Veggie Patch products (such as Chick’n Nuggets). Both of the grocery stores had the most horrible looking corn on the cob I’ve ever seen anywhere! It really looked like it had been in a composter for like a week.

I attempted to get a post office box as isn’t delivered to homes here and was told they weren’t any available but that there will likely be one available in a day or two. I can apparently have things sent General Delivery. Speaking of mail delivery, I think I’ll probably be getting lots as online shopping really does seem to make a lot of sense here both in terms of price and selection.

I also went to look at cars and there wasn’t really what I was looking for but I was told there would be on Friday afternoon. So, I guess I’ll go back then. I have been told four-wheel drive is a really good idea here but it is more expensive, they use more gas, and tend to be larger than I’d like. The guy at the car place said that using studded tires on a normal car works well and they rent cars during the winter to people who aren’t used to driving here and they don’t have problems. So, I think I’m leaning to a smaller car and using the studded tires.

I currently have a rental car. There were some guys at the airport were jealous that I got a car but I had made a reservation and they clearly hadn’t! Though there aren’t a lot of people here, it is pretty spread out and there aren’t any sidewalks. I am glad I have the rental car though I don’t think I’ll manage to buy a car by Saturday when I need to bring it back. I need to decide whether to extend the rental. I have thought of getting a bicycle as the place is small enough to easily ride anywhere and there shouldn’t be snow before October. There are always more taxis than I expected so that might be viable for a few days.

The one problem that I am pretty concerned about is the lack of internet. I am in a new building where cable internet apparently can’t be set up yet (though people across the street have it) and satellite internet is apparently slower than dial-up. My landlord thinks that when the tenant next door moves in (who currently lives somewhere else in town) that her asking to transfer her internet might force them to bring internet here. I have used the free wifi at the public library but that really isn’t a viable long-term solution.

I found a couch that was on sale for only $399 plus tax and delivery which should be delivered tomorrow but I haven’t bought any other furniture yet.

I also exchanged my driver license and that went quite smoothly.

I’m Leaving on Tuesday …

Posted in Allergies, Moving with tags , on August 21, 2011 by Amanda

I’ve realized that I’ve neglected this blog since I wrote about my trip to Paris. I haven’t felt all that great since I had a cold when I returned and have since then I have been dealing with allergies. I’ve been spending the last little while trying to decide to what to take with me, what to mail, and what to just leave here. Despite having gotten rid of so much stuff in the last couple of years and buying practically nothing in the last few months, it seems that I still own a lot of stuff. I’m glad that my mom has been a big help in packing things. Anyway, on Tuesday I’ll be flying on three short flights: Toronto to Montreal to Halifax to Goose Bay.

Vendredi + a couple of thoughts

Posted in Paris, Travel, Vacation with tags , , on August 9, 2011 by Amanda

Friday was very rainy but as it was my last real day in Paris and there were some things I still wanted to see I went outside anyway. I first went to the area of Belleville which was definitely different from the other areas of Paris as it doesn’t have any real tourist attractions and consequently few tourists. It found the area interesting particularly Rue Denoyez which is a small street that has lots of graffiti.

Rue Denoyez

After looking around Belleville for a bit I walked over to Canal St. Martin which was definitely a lot different from the Welland Canal. It is fairly narrow and seems more like a river that runs through the middle of a street.

Canal St. Martin

In the afternoon the weather had improved and I went on another walking tour. This one took place in Left Bank around the area of the Sorbonne. It wasn’t bad but I think I preferred the other walking tours.

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I found the metro system in Paris interesting. While it was pretty straightforward to use, it definitely had some unique aspects. On some of the lines the doors of the subway cars don’t open automatically; you need to either push a button or pull a handle to get them to open. The walk between different lines using the same metro station can be enormous; it is often quicker to walk to the next station (because they tend to be quite close together) than to switch lines within a station.

There wasn’t as much smoking in Paris as I had expected which has definitely a welcome surprise!

I noticed that a number of homeless people had several pets, often rather large dogs.

I knew that there would be a lot of tourists in Paris this time of year but how busy some of the attractions were still surprised me. Strangely though, there was quite a lot of hotel availability when I booked less than a week before my trip. Maybe Paris just has more hotels than it needs (for example there were four in a row on the street I stayed on) or lots of people are using Couchsurfing?