Thursday, December 6, 2007

"it's all kinda sketchy past anchorage"


Christmas shopping from the village is interesting.

Of course, the "revolution" of online shopping has undoubtedly changed life out here...I wouldn't know personally, as I've only been here a year and a half. But to be able to sit at one's desk and browse the full collections of the online retailers of the world is definitely a comforting connection to the world outside. It's just as easy (and dangerous) to browse Amazon or on payday as it is to go bum around Target in person, tossing things into the cart on impulse...more than once, I've exclaimed my relief that Fleet Farm doesn't have an online store :-)

The only problem is when it comes to the shipping. That's where the title quote of this post comes, from Sara. I've been doing most of my xmas shopping online, of course, but just as planning travel this time of year involves a little bit of dice-tossing, the same goes for the speed (or turtle-like-sloth) of the arrival of anything purchased online. The variables are myriad and, river, competence of a company's shipping people, the service they sent the package with, karma, the phase of the moon, the direction of the migration of the Caribou herds, etc. A package sent regular mail arrived from Florida in a matter of a few days...a box from Seattle sent UPS "next day" a few weeks ago has yet to arrive...frozen food shipped freight from Anchorage even earlier is, at this point, probably halfway over the Alaska Range on dogsled.

Really, anything we need to buy has to be done online, seeing as we won't be getting home until right before xmas. Thankfully, we've been making a few of our gifts this year, so that's dependent only on our motivational level and raw materials. Anything else I need to finish up ordering online, at this point, is going to have to just be shipped to Wisconsin, lest they turn into Martin Luther King day gifts.


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