Posts

Showing posts from September, 2013

What A Summer In Alaska Taught Me, Against My Will

Image
They say all good things must come to an end*, and last week, just as the summer weather was making a final retreat, my time living and working in the seaside town of Seward on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula did exactly that - it became a good thing that ended. 
(*I'm unclear on the profundity of this saying though, because bad and mediocre things must also come to an end. Literally everything ends.)

As I waited reluctantly at the Anchorage airport to board my red-eye flight to Los Angeles, I reflected upon my initial expectations for this adventure. Back in June, I felt confident that I was going to spend my weekends solo traveling throughout Alaska and that I would write every day and laugh smugly at small-town living. I wondered if I would cope earning minimum wage. I was terrified that I'd be sleeping in a bunk bed in dingy employee housing, sharing with 8 other, weird people. I worried that I hadn't packed enough warm clothes.

In hindsight it's obvious, as always, t…

Boat Passenger Comment Card #5

Image
Part of my job up here in Seward, Alaska, involves entering the feedback we receive from hundreds of comment cards that are returned to us by passengers after they have taken our boat tours. These are some of their least feasible suggestions. 




Comment Card
August 29th, 2013
Herman W, Germany


What can we do to improve the tour?

Cruise closer to mountains. Would help it be more dramatic and inspiring



Dear Herman,

It sure would! Especially if the boat hit the rocks and sank. Then you could mentally compose an inspiring poem while waiting for the coast guard to arrive and save whoever hadn't yet drowned. Good times!
We thank you for your feedback.

Boat Passenger Comment Card # 4

Image
Part of my job up here in Seward, Alaska, involves entering the feedback we receive from hundreds of comment cards that are returned to us by passengers after they have taken our boat tours. These are some of their least feasible suggestions. 




Comment Card
August 17th, 2013
Anonymous


What can we do to improve the tour?

The last hour of the tour seemed unnecessary 



Dear Anonymous,
I beg to differ. The last hour of the tour returned you from the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska back onto land. Looking at it another way - that hour saved you from an almost certain, eventual death (due to starvation, drowning and/or hypothermia).
We thank you for your feedback.





I Can't Go Back To Jail

Image
A few nights ago, I had my first encounter with the Alaskan police. Anyone who knows me must surely be thinking, 'well, this was inevitable'. Indeed.

The evening had begun as it usually does here in Seward - with zero planning. A rumour began to surface about a bonfire that might be occurring somewhere at some point. For unknown reasons, no-one ever wants to commit to a bonfire too early in the day. All alternate options for night time activities must first be exhausted. Thus, late in the evening, after no better plan had revealed itself, people trickled down to the designated area, ignoring the 'no trespassing' signs, and a fire was lit on the beach. Not too long after that, in an unfamiliar and unwelcome twist, the police rolled up.

As a regular viewer and fan of the reality television show Alaska State Troopers, I was really excited to spot one of Alaska's finest emerging through the clearing. As a citizen who realised she might be in some trouble, I was less so…