Alaska comes with tons of stereotypes, maybe thanks to its current place in popular culture. But one of the wonderful things about being totally new to a place that has such a distinct culture is that you can clearly see all the differences between this new place and all the other parts of America you’ve already called “home.”
While we’ve been here I’ve noticed that there are some things that I expected to hear — but no Alaskan ever has said to me even one time.
So what are they?
5 Things Alaskans Never Say
1. “This was so well organized.” Behold, the magic of “Alaskan Time.” Do not confuse this with “Alaska Time,” which is a time zone. “Alaskan Time” is a state of mind, and when you live with it, you’re neither organized nor disorganized — you just are in a state of fluid living where you are just super happy to be alive, hanging out on the last frontier, doing you’re thing. You’re too busy living life to worry about stuff like lateness and organization.
You’re never actually really late. But you’re also not super into details. And you’re definitely not into planning things far in advance. That’s cool, though, because you’re on Alaskan Time, which is totally a thing.
2. “Just wait until the winter.” Many, many people have said this to me. Exactly zero of them currently live in Alaska. That’s because people in Alaska just roll with stuff. It’s 60 degrees and you’re chilly? Whatever. It’s going to be 30 degrees later? It’ll be fine.
3. “Don’t do ___ because there are too many bears.” Wildlife is a way of life here. No one cares that there are bears. Be smart, be safe, but you don’t let the bears keep you at home.
4. “Keep your shoes on.” People in Alaska take their shoes off in their homes … and sometimes in their businesses, too. They expect visitors to do the same. There’s a pretty good reason behind this custom: with so much crazy weather, keeping the dirt out of the house is just the best way to go.
I think this practice makes sense for a home. But when I was asked to remove my shoes (and go barefoot) at the eyebrow place, though …
5. “Sarah Palin.” I don’t mean anything specific — I mean the name at all. I have heard absolutely no one in Alaska talk about Sarah Palin. No one. We even live in the Palin’s hometown. It’s as if they don’t exist. Also, while we’re on the subject: I’ve yet to hear an Alaskan say “You betcha.”