Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alaska - a day at work

So far, working in this store is about as exciting a painting my fingernails black, which is what I've been doing all day. I'll paint one, let it dry for about 20 minutes, then add a layer of clear coat, and let that dry for 20 minutes. Then I'll wait 20 more minutes, and start on the next nail. I already did my left hand yesterday, and I've been working on the right today. I got here at 10:00 and now it's 3:09, and I just finished the pinkie of my right hand. Isn't that interesting?

Today is Saturday, so there is only one ship docked. Therefore, there are hardly any people walking the docks and browsing the shops. I'll probably close early, around 4:00, or whenever the Harley store closes. They usually close early on slow days, and what with it being Saturday, I figure I only have about another hour here.

A girl named Madelaine works with her mom in the jewelry store next to where I work, and on my first day, they both stopped by to introduce themselves. It went something like this:

Mom - "Hi, I'm Carol, and this is my daughter Madelaine."
Daughter - "Most people just call me Mattie."
Me - "Hi guys, I'm Ash. Nice to meet you." I shake hands with both of them.
Mom - "I'm actually changing my name to Lydia, so you can call me that if you want to (I don't know why she's changing her name, I need to ask her).
Me - "Hey, that's funny, because I just changed my name to Elias."
Mom - "Really? What a nice name, Elias. Why are you changing your name?"

At this point I described my recent baptism, and how I adopted a saints name.

Mom - "Ok, nice meeting you Elias."
Daughter - "Nice meeting you."

(exit mom and daughter)

Since I've been here, every conversation I've had with someone I haven't known has naturally evolved into my conversion story. The first day I was here, I was outside taking pictures and a lady saw me and asked if I was taking pictures of eagles. I said no, I'm just taking pictures for a friend back home. And that conversation turned into a description of my conversion. She happened to be a Christian, and it was just the coolest conversation with a total stranger, winding up with both of us wishing each other blessed journeys. God is here in Alaska.

So far I've walked about 10 miles since I've been here. It's really pretty country out here and there are plenty of places to walk. This morning I saw an eagles butt, and I'll have to take a picture and post it. It is a persistent eagles butt... you just have to see it to know what I mean. Another cool thing that happened is that I got carded at Mikes Elbow Room, a sports bar. I said to the waitress, "Hey, thanks!" She looked at me funny, then looked at my license and said "WTF?" Then I said "YAY!" Then Ed and Scott and I had some beers.

What else? Lets see... the apartment where I live has many different flavors. The first floor flavor is hair salon perm, and depending on the floor at which the elevator stops, there will be different flavors. Last night the elevator tasted like eggs. The 9th floor always tastes like fish. And the 5th floor tastes like a dead corpse. I haven't tasted any of the other floors yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Fr. Justin mentioned that this apartment building looks like Soviet architecture... and yeah, it does. Square, ugly, and pale green. And big. I like it! Yesterday while I was standing at the window, smoking a cigarette, I could see the rain falling in sheets against the backdrop of the local mountain. It was really visible with the green of the trees behind the rain. Maybe that's why they use green screens in movies to composite stuff.

So, as I type this, I'm hungry. I forgot to make a sandwich before work, so I have to sit here and endure starvation. Until tomorrow...

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