Tuesday was mostly a rainy day, with temperatures just above freezing. In the late afternoon I was working at my desk when I heard someone behind me say "Holy cow!" I looked up to see big round eyes focused on the windows, and this is what she was looking at. Holy cow, indeed! The snow was coming down like a blizzard. It lasted for about an hour, and then the clouds cleared off and we had a bright, sunny, blue-skied early evening. The inch or so of snow that accumulated was quickly gone. Two hours later, you would never know it had happened.
The next day, as I ran around doing errands on my day off, I couldn't help snapping this photo, just to give you a little taste of Bethel's "pothole goodness". This is one of the worst streets in town, and doesn't get much traffic (?!). This is a commercial area; on the left is a snowmachine dealer, a lumber yard, and the Catholic church. The red buildings on the right are a grocery and hardware store. Do you notice the lack of signs for these businesses at the edge of the street? That is one of the things I've always enjoyed about Bethel. Almost zero signage. There is not a single billboard in town. There are no business signs at the edge of the road, except for the occasional homemade, hand-painted sandwich board which someone puts out each morning and brings in at night. Business names are on the buildings themselves.
The visual chaos of signage is another part of the culture shock I mentioned in an earlier post when I leave this charming place. Even Anchorage has a huge amount of it. Compared to what we have here, the signage is a bombardment of the senses.
Actually, Bethel does not even have very many street signs with street names on them. It can be a challenge to give a newcomer directions, but we manage. Individual names of streets don't seem to matter that much; people go by bigger landmarks anyway. And most people know where the businesses are. It is hard to get lost here, and if you do, folks are quite helpful. Another part of life on the edge.
Labels: Tundra Life