One constant source of amusement here in Anchorage, and probably the rest of the state, is the imagination used in devising 6-character long personalised car number plates. Often, they’re on the road going too fast to grab a photo, thanks, CMOMGO and DOMATH, but in car parks, no problem:
One thing that grates on this British mind is the use of the word ‘handicapped’, as in ‘handicapped parking’, where we would use the word ‘disabled’.
But the highways have to be admired for the almost compete absence of litter. There is some, of course, but you have to look for it. I wonder whether this is partly due to the signs warning of a potential $1000 fine for littering, compared with the threat of a hardly-ever imposed £50 fine at home in the UK?
And we do like the signs warning or roadworks ahead. From a distance, one looks like a small person with his arms in the air. In fact, it’s a pair of orange flags fluttering in the breeze. And as for the bollards, I think these would win in a fight with British bollards.
Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately, invites the sign. I can’t imagine this going down well with the hard-done-by British motorist .
Car drivers seem to be much happier to let me, a mere pedestrian, cross the road, even when I might be in the wrong place. Sometimes it’s hard to see the driver waving at me through the tinted windows, so I very cautiously walk across as I signal my appreciation.
But even after all this time, over two months in Alaska, I still have to look in all directions at least twice, I still have to concentrate really hard to work out from which direction the traffic is coming. Plus, of course, many of the roads are much wider than we’re used it in a town centre.
At many intersections, there are groups of homeless people, some with signs, some asking for money but seemingly many native Alaskans. And as with Australian Aborigines in Alice Springs, one of the ie few comforts is alcohol.
Interestingly, other than these people living in the streets, we’ve seen very few people smoking here in Anchorage, just one or two in multi-storey car parks or, strangely, outside the gym. The pavements are not littered with dog-ends, not even chewing gum stains. As I said, the whole place is much cleaner than, say, London.