Most days I really enjoy living in the Alaskan Bush. The pace of life here is much slower than living in a city and people are much more laid back about things. If the plane doesn’t come because of weather, well, thats just how it is. Yes, I’m disappointed but it should come tomorrow or the next day and if it would have brought something I really needed now, well, I either need to ask a neighbor or revert to plan B and learn to plan better.
As someone who likes, wait, loves her plans, routine and stability, you might think that this type of unstable and perpetually late environment would drive me batty. I’ll admit that when I first moved to Sitka I was a bit taken aback by the notion and widespread use of “Alaska Time” as someone who was coming from tight schedules of elementary school start and stop times, camps, law and dental office schedules and the hustle and flow of Eastside/Seattle life. Then I started dating a fisherman and I learned that if there ever is a group of people who are not ruled by an actual clock in ANY way, it would be them. Tides turn regardless of the hour and prep work is done until its done. Poundage is fished until it is gotten and the time it takes from pulling into the harbor chock full to when you can tie into the dock can vary from 3 to 15 hours depending on who is working and who was there first. After the first few times of “But you said you’d be back in 3 days” 5 days later and “I thought this was a single day job” on the 7th, I learned how to let go of my watch and just go with the flow most of the time. There were always times when I tried to plan but I soon learned the season for planning did not fall between April and November.
There is one thing that you can’t plan for because it strikes silently and without any warning. It is detrimental to relationships and seriously impedes planning. The destroyer of weekend routines and spontaneous well-wishes and needed “I love you”s is…!*#^ #*$$ )!%@ Long Distance Phone Service.
I HATE this service with the ire I never thought possible for a person to have for an inanimate.
EVERY phone call I have with family begins with, “If we get cut off, I’ll call you back.” Or at least it used to. Now it has happened so often that it goes without saying and it is expected to happen at least once. It is the dreaded “fast busy signal” tone that irks me to my core. I really have no words for my frustration, just that it consumes me, especially when the ONLY thing that I REALLY want to do is talk to my Mum. Yes, I do have weekly weekend phone calls with my Mum at nearly 29 years old. She is my touchstone of sanity and I need that contact with a real, smart, pun-filled, sane and loving person every week while I drift here in my Lagoon of madness.
Right now though, I am being tested by a horrible company who KNOWS they have a problem because EVERYONE in town (not an exaggeration) has sent them messages to complain about the shoddy (when working) and quite often non-existent long distance service WHO ISN’T DOING ANYTHING TO MAKE IT RIGHT! For those of you readers not in Alaska you may think that, as there is only 1 area code for the entire state, we might all be “local” to each other. Not a chance. If your first 3 digits are different, its long distance. This also includes 800 service numbers so when you oh so helpfully get a reply to your email to said company stating to “Please phone 1-800-XXX-XXXX as soon as possible so we can speak to you in person about rectifying your current problem with your long distance service.”, it is very hard not to get snippy and snarky with the (real, not computer generated!) person on the other end of the message, especially since you had written that ALL numbers not beginning with 989 (Nelson Lagoon), including 800 numbers were impossible to reach. *Sigh*
I would give up a LOT of fresh seafood to have this permanently fixed. It truly is the ONE thing that I hate about living in the bush.