Practical life in Alaska
Most of Alaska is 10 hours behind mainland Western Europe. Thus, when it is 12 p.m. in Paris, it is 2 a.m. the same day in Anchorage.
The West Aleutian Islands, for their part, belong to the same time zone as Hawaii, late by an additional hour in summer and 1 hours in winter (because this zone does not apply summer / winter time) .
Electrical voltage: 110 volts, 60 cycles and two flat prong plugs, as elsewhere in the United States. Remember to bring an adapter, or even a transformer.
- Large shopping centers and supermarkets major cities generally open between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and close at 21 p.m. or 22 p.m. The shops, they rather draw their curtain around 18 p.m. Elsewhere, hours are quite variable, but don't expect to find the door open after 19 or 20 p.m.
- The biggest museums are open every day from 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. to 18 p.m., roughly from mid-May to mid-September (or even only from June to August). Others close on Mondays, sometimes also on Sundays. Most are closed out of season.
About 5,2% of the population is lnative mother tongue, but they are disappearing under the onslaught of television, radio and school.
Despite the adoption in 1997 of a law finally emphasizing the importance of regional languages and setting up their teaching, the recognition the following year of theEnglish as Alaska's only official language under pressure from conservative groups has done nothing to improve the situation ...
Lawsuits have since overthrown this legislation, but the Palin government's unwillingness (2006-2009) to provide translators to Yup'ik speakers (who sometimes do not speak English) during the elections further proved just how much the state authorities is for assimilation.
The Yup'ik are also the only ones, along with the Inuit, to still really keep their language. Yet many, the Tlingit, for example, would be no more than 500 to speak in the language of their ancestors!
The courier is not very fast (10-15 days for Europe), but safe. There are post offices almost everywhere.
Notice to interested parties: smoking rooms are becoming increasingly rare. Many hotels totally ban smoking.
Telephone and Internet
- International calls: 011, then the country code.
- Local calls: from one city to another in Alaska, remember to precede the number with 1 and the area code (907).
Most telephone companies consider Alaska to be a separate country from the United States when it comes to billing. Beware if you call from France, Alaska with a card, or if you ask for a PCV ... Better to buy a prepaid card on the spot, much more economical, or if you cannot find one, stock up quarters. Calls from hotels are shamefully surcharged.
You can't find an Internet cafe on every street corner, far from it, but the best hotels and motels generally have free access for their guests. This is also often the case in B & B.