Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Churchill: until it I can't feel my cheeks

I walk back into town, cutting down through some of the residential streets at this end of town. The architecture here tells you everything you need to know about the climate. In some cases, the windows are deeply set in thickly insulated walls. On some buildings, there are no windows or openings at all on the side facing the bay.

I return to Kelsey Boulevard and stop into a large shop selling souvenirs. I’ve spent much of the last winter in much colder temperatures in MontrĂ©al, but to return to this climate again suddenly without any time to acclimatise is making me balance my time walking around town with my time inside. The shop is quiet, but I can imagine that in a busier time of year it’s hopping with tourists. All sorts of Canadiana is available to purchase, although it’s hard to find anything that you can honestly say is from Churchill. More or less everything is imported via the same long route that I came. Even the plastic polar bears are made in China.

I walk the length of Kelsey Boulevard, and decide that there’s no point holding out on a nice warm meal any longer. By the time I reach Gypsy’s Diner, I don’t need to be persuaded by the recommendation in my guidebook. It’s already sold itself to me. It’s a basic diner and bakery with a solid menu. I choose today’s lunchtime special, a beef and pork stir fry, which reminds me to warn any vegetarians thinking of moving to Churchill not to underestimate the difficulties you’re likely to encounter here. I sit and write postcards over my coffee, listening in to the gossip from a group of retired ladies on the next table.

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