Over Christmas was my first real travel out of the bush since I arrived here in August. The flights home were long, the visit with family and friends was wonderful, and the time spent with loved ones too short.
Today, I was talking to a fellow teacher about the three days I spent in Anchorage during this trip. Before I could even tell her what we did, she said, “Wait, wait, I know, you went to Costco, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and Title Wave books. That’s what all teachers do in Anchorage!”
My reply was simply, “Hey! I went to REI too!”
After shopping for my regular dry goods, it was time to hit the frozen section. I stocked up on meats, filling my cart with a pot roast, ground beef, bacon, lots of chicken breast, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables, grabbing all the frozen strawberries and mixed vegetables that would fit in my cart.
Then, it was over to the sporting goods section to pick up a cooler. Back in August I had purchased two large coolers to transport my frozen goods to the village. Unfortunately, these coolers were not in Anchorage with me during this last trip out. Grumbling at how much money I had spent on food already, I was quite reluctant to buy another cooler. Cheap and disposable! The obvious solution in this case!
A $6 styrofoam cooler was purchased, frozen goods were packed into it, and it was left in the trunk of the car overnight (-15 degrees in Anc- a perfect freezer) so that it would be ready for the next morning’s 10am flight.
After a predawn trip to Walmart and the Post Office for some last minute supplies and mailings, we arrived at the Ted Stevens International Airport. As Kyle returned the car I began to ductape my styrofoam cooler together. Truly, it wasn’t the most durable container, but I figured with some duct tape the box could make it through that day’s short flights.
Just as I finish duct taping the cooler closed, a kind airline agent comes up to me and informs me that you can not take Styrofoam onto the plane. I look at her in disbelief. “HUH?! I don’t understand” She points to the cooler and plainly says that no airline would allow that on their flight. In confusion, I ask her, “well, do you have anything I could put it in?”
“Nope, sorry” she replies as she walks away.
It is not 9:15am, Kyle has already returned our rental car, and the plane is due to take off at 10am.
Scrambling for a solution, I begin to open my large suitcase. With a sigh, I think “I guess I”ll have to stuff the food in here and pay the overweight fee…” As I open the suitcase, I notice my garment bag inside the suitcase. Used on an earlier part of the trip to transport a lovely coat and a suit, the garment bag was now empty.
You, my intelligent reader, can surely make an inference about the conclusion of this story. But a picture is included just below. Quite a strange way to transport any sort of food.