I want my apocalypse!

January 18th, 2009 → Leave a comment

Sure, I’ve been here in Anchorage for less than 24 hours, but I was really expecting something much more apocalyptic when I arrived. You know, 100 degrees below zero, moose and grizzly bears roaming the unpaved streets, Midnight 24/7 that would sap my emotional core and leave me in a deep unending depression, Super Christian teenagers with names like Twig and Birch speaking in tongues to their illegitimate kids, old black and white televisions (set only to the PTL station) powered by generators, Russians rearing their heads at me from across the water…. The kind of scary stuff that Sarah Palin made us think Alaska was.

I’m actually kind of bummed that this place isn’t as freaky ass backwards as Sarah Palin was making us think it was. Turns out it may just be her… Below is proof though that she is Governor and it’s not just a hoax.

As it turns out, Anchorage is just like any other town in America (aside from a greater than average number of gun stores and $6 bottles of sub par kimchee.) There is a bourgeois grocery store, lots of corporate retail chains, tabloid magazines, immigrant run restaurants and businesses, and all the comforts of home. I bought some wild salmon at the grocery store to cook ($8/pound, btw) and will report with my taste test later. It’s not even season for salmon fishing, so the slab I got was caught a while back. In fact, a lot of the seafood comes from other parts of the world. I had fantasized that it would be fresh caught in the rivers just behind the market…. but it seems that this mom and pop world does not exist anymore.

I must say Anchorage is gorgeous. Mountains covered in snow all around. Crisp cleaner air. Trees. Water. I can see why people leave the city life to live here.

It’s 9am and the sun has yet to come out, but the sun comes out for six hours a day. I had been told it would be two straight weeks of darkness with an occasional 20 minutes of twilight– oh, the rumors! It has also warmed up 50 degrees since last week (thanks global warming!) and was a nice 40 degrees when I rolled in. In 2005 when I went inauguration, DC was so bitterly cold. This is nothing like that. This is heaven compared to DC. It apparently won’t stay like this though as rain and cold are to come.

The Anchorage streets are icy and I have to wear cleats (little spikes) over my boots (boots that I have not worn since college and I’m not even sure if you are supposed to wear them in this weather, but it was all I got). But I have to tell you, I feel a little silly for packing as much clothes as I did. My friend Teri loaned me all her snowboarding clothes since I don’t own things like jackets or pants living in Los Angeles. I’m not sure how much I’ll end up wearing if the weather stays around this cool. I was actually sweating in the car ride from the airport wearing my mom’s down jacket. I was prepared for that scene out of Superman where mortal Superman is walking out of that Crystal house thing, through endless miles of snow, back to the city.

There are signs that I am in Alaska. Everyone here looks like they jumped out of the 1998 LL Bean catalog. There are lot of stores in the downtown Anchorage area that sell fur (and one store sold fur jockstraps!). I also visited a co-op where native villages knit yarn spun from Musk Ox hair and sell their creations to create income for their villages.

Last night we had Himalayan food. But it was actually Indian food. Kind of expensive and smallish portions. But very delicious. It just kind of reminds me that wherever you go, there are all sorts of people who somehow ended up there too– as tourists or not. There’s a sizable Korean population here in Anchorage. How this bottle of kim chee ended up being $6, I don’t know.

Not sure what to do with myself on my sacred Sunday. It’s too icy to try to play outside. In LA I normally go to the farmer’s market, then Agape, then hang around at home.

I’ve decided to go visit a Pentecostal Church at 3:30pm for their service and glimpse the spiritual Alaska life. There is an Armageddon somewhere, and I will find it. I wanted to go to the Wasilla Assembly of God (where Sarah Palin went) but it’s hard to get down there in these road conditions, and apparently they are wise to visitors now. Too bad because I was looking forward to meeting the people responsible for this masterpiece below….

Will be back with a full report!

Category: road wong

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