Tourist season is upon us

We all know young children, in all their innocence of the world, ask questions that adults think are cute. We answer them kindly, without snickering, and think to ourselves "isn't that adorable?" Now think of an adult, who really should know better, asking some of those same questions. Alaskans won't laugh at the inquiring tourist. Alaskans have manners. They will kindly answer the tourist, sometimes truthfully, and enjoy a laugh with their friends later on. Enjoying a laugh at the expense of a tourist is a favorite local pastime. It's all harmless fun

Answering Tourist Questions:

  • Q:  When do the bears come out?  A: They are probably having breakfast right now. We make them wait an hour after eating.
  • Q:  How do you turn on the lights? (Talking about the Northern Lights)  A: There's a coin slot at the end of the pier. Make sure you have quarters.
  • Q:  When do you turn on the lights? (Again talking about the Northern Lights)
  • Q:  Where's the coin slot? (To keep the waterfall flowing)
  • Q:  Where can I exchange my American money for Alaskan money?  A: There's a Wells Fargo right across the street.
  • Q:  What's the elevation here? (Cruise ship passenger standing near the dock)
  • Q: How long does it take for a deer to turn into an elk?  A: Well, if it's been a warm growing season, only a year and a half.
  • Q: How long does it take for an elk to turn into a moose? A: Here in the southeast it takes a bit longer than up near Fairbanks ... could be 5 years or more.
  • Q:  What's the name of this lake? (Cruise ship passenger just off the OCEAN LINER)
  • Q:  Do you live in an igloo?   A: Well I did up until last year ... what with global warming and all.....
  • Q:  Where are the penguins?   A:  Alaska is in the Northern Hemisphere. Penguins are ... Oh, never mind. Sure, the penguin races start at 8pm on the north end of Front Street.
  • Q:  That glacier is pretty dirty, someone should clean it off.  A: Yep, but we're still waiting on some parts to be shipped up to repair the power washer. 
  • Q:  Do I just spray my arms or should I use it all over? (Asking about how to apply bear spray)
  • "They shouldn't build the docks so low. This ramp is pretty steep." (Tourist heading to the dock for a fishing trip at low tide)
  • After another tourist explains it's the low tide that causes the steep decline I'm almost thinking all is right with the world and then I hear "Just wait until we return. It will be high tide then and the next crew will have to walk UP this ramp." 

Dave Berry - Alaska: Grin and Bear It

Dave Berry - Land of Frozen Earwax

Dave Berry - Don't Feed the Tourists

Gives a whole new meaning to     "Meals on Wheels."

Gives a whole new meaning to

"Meals on Wheels."

For some reason, that no Alaskan can fully explain, tourists insist on walking in the street. There are beautiful wide sidewalks but it doesn't matter. They arrive in town, any town, and walk in the street instead of using the sidewalks. Sometimes they're walking right down the middle of Main Street. None of the locals understand this phenomenon. Maybe someone can let us in on the secret.