The Small Bits About Living Here
May 17, 2011, 3:40 pm
Filed under: voyageur

This house does not technically have hot water. For hot water we light a gas burner that runs off a tank bought at a farmer’s co-op twenty minutes away or a harbour five minutes away. This house, built more for summer cool out of cement, has a stove for burning coal on the days the sky turns blue grey and a cold front creeps over the ocean.

Internet, now, is run from a stick attached by usb that someone gave us. It, and our cell phones, feed off the television antenna (evidenced by how we know our phone is about to ring or a download is speeding up by flickers of the tv) and work better when we stand near the windows. Our other usb stick involved going to a store, buying an assortment of credit vouchers, loading them by punching in an excessive series of numbers and sending a text message about what kind of data bundle we would like. My phone works in a similar way, although I top up in increments worth about seventy five cents that last for about a week of casual texts. You can prepay pretty much anything around here, even your electricity.

To get groceries we typically go into the farming town twenty minutes away rather than the expat town ten minutes away, once per month. We get most meat from a butcher, eggs from an egg and chicken store, milk and cheese from the dairy store, dry goods from a general store and vegetables from people selling them on the pavement. All of these things are available on one short main street. We get all of our bread and baking from a bakery in the expat town with semi-surly owners we have grown to love, if High Fidelity had a bakery sequel you could shoot it here. Last weekend we bought a cake and ate it on the beach, it was the stuff of dreams (the cake, specifically, eating cake on an empty white beach with gentle blue peelers, generally).

Every two weeks library books come due. There are no real fines and you can only have three books at a time, but the elderly volunteers will give a disapproving eye if you fail to respect the stamp. Books are shelved in a semi-order, probably because the volunteers have different concepts as to what categories books fit in. There are really only two categories: holiday, a la John Grisham and Sophie Kinsella, and literary, a la Doris Lessing and Paulo Coelho, but really this works fine given that I have not read enough of either genre in this lifetime.


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