Monday, February 28, 2011

Settling In

I found myself talking like a true Fairbanksian this past weekend. There was a store I wanted to go to but when I looked up the address on my iPhone, and saw the shocking distance between it and my enviable address,  I cried out, "I'm not going there -- it's on the other side of town!" As soon as the words passed my lips I knew I was done for. In four short weeks what had happened to me?

The "other" side of town is never more than 10 minutes away. Regardless of traffic, snow, wind storm, it's 10 minutes. Always. When I first arrived in Fairbanks I heard people saying how they didn't want to drive across town and I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, I routinely drove 20-30 minutes just to reach the good grocery store. A 10 minute drive didn't seem like a big deal.

I get it now. When it's snowing and 40 below, and you have to let your car heat up and clear the snow and ice off your car, everything seems like a big deal. Not to mention the price of gas. That's enough right there to make you want to re-use coffee grounds for the morning brew instead of driving 4 blocks to Safeway and wasting precious gas!  Even with my Safeway Club Card 3 cent discount I last paid $3.51 a gallon for gas. Yikes. 

Admittedly there was a time when I found the "other side" of town only when lost and I arrived there by happenstance. Now I not only know where it is, I've been there purposefully. I feel warranted now when I proclaim in shock and disbelief, "The store is where?!?" Of course, with my luck I'd be headed for the other side of town only to end up in Ester. I have no idea where that is but have been told I'll find it soon enough. 

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