Playing basketball with high school kids is a surefire way for one to realize how out of shape one is.

After the warmups, I was wearing down, then we started ‘suicide runs’ [run to the 1/4 line of the court, run back, run to the halfway line, run back, run to 3/4 line, run back, run the length of the court, run back, and then repeat], that’s when it hit me. The first cycle was rough, but then when I was expected to do it again, halfway through I honestly thought that my legs would cave underneath me, and I started to feel faint. Later on, I would be hit with a massive headache.

But anyways, I’m sure that’s one of the last things you readers would want to hear about.

“Why won’t he write anything interesting or revealing? He’s just talking about how out of shape he is…go to the gym already!”

…yeah…or I just need some powerthirst.

I met another researcher yesterday from Moscow, named Dimitri (I haven’t asked the proper spelling yet), and we visited a few different places together today, such as the highschool, a support centre for adults, the college, and after the basketball game/practice that I attended, I also dropped by the skate park. Even though I don’t skate, it was interesting being there, because I worked for the city for the last few years, several of which I would help run the skate park at Grandview Arena. The skatepark here just blows it away. They’re newest addition to it is a 12 foot quarter pipe [NOT a drug reference]. Like this, but twice as tall.

It’s dark at 7 pm now, and no, it isn’t snowing yet. I’ve been given a list of questions to answer by some friends (if you have more, by all means, let me know, and I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of them), so here are some answers:

DISCLAIMER: I am not an authority on any of the following subjects, and my responses are based on my experiences (sometimes limited) here in Nunavut.

Q: What’s the humidity like? Is it a dry cold, or wet cold?
A: Dry cold for sure. There was a bit of rain and wet snow the other day, and it made everything really muddy, but it dried up really quickly.

Q: What effects does the long-term cold have on the materials around ye (i.e. fast decomposition of plastics, etc)?
A: Not sure about plastics, but from looking around the city, there’s garbage everywhere that has survived many many winters. For example, here’s a picture of a Pepsi can I took on a hike I went on (also seen in the previous post). Note the design. That’s not new at all.

But really, …I don’t think I’m knowledgeable enough to answer that question.

Q: How do the locals feel about climate change?
A: climate change doesn’t seem to really be talked about by locals other than by local politicians who have those sorts of concerns expressed in their platforms. For more information on the arctic and climate change, I’d recommend reading Arctic‘s (yes…the band that’s been through Tbay a few times) website which is devoted to discussions about the arctic as much as it is about the music.

Q: How prevalent are snowmobiles as an intracity mode of transportation?
A: Well, it hasn’t snowed yet, and apparently it won’t actually start staying on the ground until about November. For now, ATV‘s [All Terrain Vehicles] are quite common, but I do see MANY skidoo’s parked in driveways and beside homes.

Q: Are any fresh foods available in the winter? Do many people supplement their diet with vitamins to compensate?
A: Fresh food is flown in during the winter. The quality of said fresh food may not always be the best, and the prices are usually outlandish, but yes. And variety probably isn’t as extensive as we head into the winter months. As for vitamins, I haven’t really experienced many people taking supplements. Maybe that’d explain some of the health issues up here. I just bought some vitamins, but that’s because I’m used to a different diet, and the residence food may or may not have been making me ill. And I like Zinc.

Q: Is ‘room temperature’ the same up there as down here?
A: the college residence has thermostats for each room, so my room is sitting at about 21-24. It’s cooler in the hallways, but generally all the buildings that I’ve been in, I’m comfortable just wearing a sweater (same as Thunder Bay), but if I’m engaging in some sort of sport/activity, then just a t-shirt is fine. (I’m wearing pajama pants as long johns the entire time though…).

Q: Accustomed to the temperatures there, at what temperature will people go outside in shorts and tshirts, if ever?
A: A lot of the kids are going around in just one or two sweaters right now, baseball caps instead of toques, and without gloves. I do a lot of walking after dark, and I find it necessary to wear my Canada Goose jacket. But I came from Thunder Bay, where I could still get away with wearing shorts. I won’t be acclimatized before I leave.

Other points of interest: an incredibly popular game here for youth is Ping Pong. Every where I go there’s a ping pong table: the college residence, the youth centre, the high school…

Interviews start tomorrow! Hoorah!