September 16, 2009

Drink from the tap...

Guysborough. This is where I grew up. It's a little place in Nova Scotia just far enough off the beaten path to keep its character yet close enough to still depend heavily on the tourism industry in the summer.

After I graduated from high school, this is where I ended up...

...Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. What a great time that was! I worked at a school downtown and, for the first time, tasted something different from the small town flavour I'd been used to.

Next, my journey took me to Ottawa to formally study to be a teacher. Yay me. It was a nice, tiny city. Very clean. Very conservative (despite government tendencies).


After university finished, I ended up working here...

Beautiful....I loved Seoul; there's something comforting about the chaos that blankets everything. You learn to roll with it, do your thing, and enjoy the absolutely fantastic food.

Hong Kong followed...












Then I decided to spend some time here (Shanghai)...

...and here (Tokyo)...


Next came the bigger adventure; I moved to Manhattan and lived just two blocks south of Central Park. I could walk around and check out all the sights from tv shows/movies that I had watched over and over. Sex in the City, Law and Order, Seinfeld, Friends...
 
I was able to walk a few blocks and get to Times Square, watch a show on Broadway, go to a Yankees or Rangers game (which I did and regretted)...Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Greenwich Village, Central Park Zoo, the MET, NY Library, MoMA, the list goes on...

...the thing is, I didn't do any of these things. Some, yes. All of them? No.

Oh, and for those of you who might be visiting, it's rather tacky to visit the former site of the Twin Towers and take smiling pictures with you and your family. Remember that event, yes. Bill it as a tourist attraction? Absolutely not. The only reason I was that far south was because there's an amazing discount store - Century 21 - that's directly across from it. In fact, it was once featured on Sex in the City. You can buy designer couture and everyday wear in the same place. The shoe section is to die for and, right around the corner there's a great sushi place...and reasonably priced.

From New York, I moved back to Nova Scotia - Halifax, not my home-town. This picture is taken across the water from Dartmouth, Halifax's sister-city.

Next, I was back to Ottawa for about a year...

Now, like I mentioned, Ottawa is a nice city but I needed a change. Out went the resume, bouncing around the world through cyberspace. I was looking for either Qatar, United Arab Emirates, or Nunavut (not necessarily in that order).













...so this is where I live now...


...amazing...

Pangnirtung is as big an adventure as Eastern Europe, Asia, and NYC (oh, Montreal falls in there too); there's a certain type of personality needed up here. Well, that's my take on it so far. I've already met so many jaded people because they expect it to be like the south. They expect to change it. Mold it. Into something more familiar. What's wrong with the unfamiliar? Relax a bit, that's my advice. Things are going to get lost, connections are going to fail, social expectations will have to change, everyday things will be surprises that you have to take in stride. Choose the things you need to worry about, I guess.

A lot has been pinging around the blogs recently about the whole 'mercenary, missionary, or misfit', but, after trying to figure out where I fit in, I have decided that it's best just to enjoy my time. I have learned so much about myself by travelling in the past; I know this will teach me even more. Perhaps I thought of being a mercenary about 8 years ago, but I was fortunate enough not to get a job at that time. Instead, I experienced being piss-poor in some great places. And that's fine.

And being in a community where a small Brita water filter is $60 is fine too. Be adventurous. Drink from the tap...

7 comments:

Jordan~Stephanie said...

great post tara! love the pictures :)

Christa said...

Wow! Holy jeez you have lived in a lot of places. I'm in awe and feeling a bit jealous of you.

I didn't mean to start something with my post (which has now been deleted as it contained whining about my job and I was informed this could lead to me being fired), and I suppose if I didn't have a huge amount of debt to pay, I wouldn't be much of a mercenary either.

I don't think I expected it to be like down south here, but I was not forewarned how different teaching and school would be. The interview was almost exactly like a southern interview and the information given made it sound like it was pretty much the same job. It's not!

I am getting more comfortable with that, and I enjoy the community members and the sights and even the weather (so far), although I'd give almost anything to see the amazing views you get everyday, I pretty much just see sand and water!

I still do not feel one bit comfortable with the social situation here, people can be very cruel and I have found out that people who I have to have close contact with on a daily basis bet that I'd be the one to crack and go psycho before Christmas (they say it has happened every year). I was quite.. angry about this, and I feel I may leave here a changed person perhaps not for the better. But this is through interactions with other Southerners, not through anything Gjoa Haven has done to me!

Tara Muise said...

hey christa, i hope you read this...

sorry to hear that you're not doing too well over there. prove them wrong. find out what you can positively get from the situation, then forget the rest of the crap. cause it is crap.

hey...i wish i'd already done all the northern things you have...i'd love to have bragging rights to such a fine looking char!

Sarah said...

Hey there...was wondering should I bring a Brita filter with me?? Or is it generally safe to drink from the tap....sorry you got this very tired brain a thinking now.

Clare said...

Wonderfully written post Tara.

Sarah said...

Hey Sarah---I drank from the tap for the first 4months I was I lived in Pang--but when my mum came to visit I got a Brita (she brought filters from the south)...bc she's sensitive to 'water' changes. I have heard (and tasted in a few communities when I am travelling for work) that some water...well tastes kind of funky... so I guess it's up to you! Cheers! Sarah :)

Tara Muise said...

thanks clare...that truly does mean a lot coming from you :-)