Friday, July 21, 2006

Drum roll, please

It's official: I'm leaving the ol' USA on July 30th. I will be flying out of LAX at 9:55 pm that Sunday evening, flying to a stopover in New Jersey (!) then getting on what appears to be a tiny little plane (considering the seating options I was given) for a short flight to Quebec City arriving at 10:33am.

So - I will be accepting all mailings, well wishes, final complaints, and other business until July 30th, after which I can make no guarentees that I will be able to contact anyone with any sort of ease. I've had the fantastic good fortune to fall in with a young Polish woman, a friend of my advisor, who will be putting me up in Quebec City until the Amundsen actually leaves. So if you are desperate to mail me something, I may be able to receive it at her address between August 1st-15th.

Speaking of the Amundsen...oh my god, drama. After a lot of stress, some complications with my booking has been cleared up, and the long and short of it is I will still be on the ship for the originally planned time period (August 18th-October 19th) except I will only be working for one research team, instead of switching off between two different ones. Let's just say I felt like I was dancing a fine line on a massive international faux pax.

Oh! And speaking of Kugluktuk (where I will be getting off the ship in northern Canada) I booked a hotel for one (1) night where I will stay until I fly back to Quebec to continue on to Iceland to Greenland. This little story should give everyone a good idea of why my financial situation causes me significant stress - one night at this hotel (I use the term loosely) will cost me $200. It is the only hotel in town, barring a 6-person sort of hostel that actually manages to be more expensive. This is not $200 for a resort - I will probably be sharing most facilities (ie, bathroom) with the other guests, etc. If I decide I want to eat without buying my own groceries (which may or may not be marginally cheaper), breakfast in town runs about $20, lunch $25, and dinner $40. This is totally normal for everywhere in the Arctic - probably less expensive than a lot of places. This is why - clearly - I cannot afford to stay in even the simplest hotels for more than a day. Doing this kind of project under the financial bounderies of the Watson (since I'm not exactly rolling in excess funds) has meant that I have spent a lot of time seeking out opportunities for home stays, or things like the icebreaker deal, or any opportunity where I can trade my varied skills for housing.

They don't teach you this stuff in college, kids.

1 comment:

Grandmo said...

Laurel, you poor baby! What a beginning. May it all be downhill from here. luv ya, Grandmo