Buyers Remorse – Juneau, Alaska

Today’s port was Juneau and I had a mission to accomplish. I wanted to get headphones and pick up laundry detergent. I think I failed on both accounts. I guess I kinda got some headphones but its all for naught because I think I am going to have to take them back. I sit here tired and frustrated beyond belief, wondering how the day ended up this way.

I had the best intentions and even started the day off right with a healthy egg white omlette, fruit and yogurt. It was the first time I had breakfast in the formal dining room and I was quite impressed with the accuracy of the service. I made sure to fill out a comment card so that the server would get credit for his patience with me and my gazillion special requests.

After grabbing up a coffee to go which was right beside the gangway, I pinged my ID card and went out. The day was crisp but it was a lovely view as I wandered towards the downtown. There were mountains everywhere and I was quite impressed by the magnificence of it all. As there were about six ships docked, you can imagine the crowd of cruise goers that were plowing down the narrow streets. There were 4 mega ships in port.

Jewelry, watches, perfume, smoked salmon, and furs seemed to be the things to buy here. Not to mention the loads of souvenir shops that were attempting to “liquidate” now that the season was near over. I barely glanced inside because I had seen all this before. I was not here to buy junk I couldn’t use. But try as I might, I was having trouble finding a decent pair of headphones at a fair price. I bit the bullet and decided that it would be in my best interest to head over to Costco. If they didn’t have anything, then there was a few other big box dept stores nearby that would likely suffice.

Rather than pay twenty dollars for a cab ride, which would clearly defeat the purpose of trying to save some dough, we took the bus. The high energy and humorous driver was well worth the buck fifty it cost to ride the 20 mins out of the center. This guy was small town entertainment at its finest and I really appreciated his spunk.

We jumped off when we were directed by our overzealous driver and headed into Costco where I found one lonely set of ear buds. I hummed and hawed before the iPod section caught my eye. How and why what happened next, I will never know. For some bizarre reason, I impulse bought an iPod touch. It was the silliest thing ever, especially since I barely believe in the one I have which was a gift, not a purchase I consciously made.

Sure it came with a set of headphones. Sure the return policy was solid and I could take it back to any Costco worldwide. Sure the thing connected to wi-fi. Truly, none of those reasons should have inspired me to shell out two hundred bucks on a flimsy piece of proprietary hype. Ug. I had buyers remorse almost immediately. Perhaps that is what drove me to drink.

Darren happens to be one of my beer loving friends, so I thought it would be nice for him to get to see the Alaska Brewery. It just so happened to be around the corner so we bounced in to take the tour. Sample after sample, we tasted them all (8 in total) and though I tasted the variance, I still don’t love beer. I did, however, like the pretty labels and the bubbly staff who were working there.

After drinking up a storm, Darren refused to make the second stop to find detergent. I was a little peeved because I had stopped at the brewery solely for him. I begrudgingly got back on the bus and wondered just how I was going to get my laundry done over the next month and a half. I couldn’t even secure a box of soap suds!

I tried to distract myself from my conundrum with my new toy but it wouldn’t let me play. It wouldn’t even let me turn it on until I installed iTunes on my netbook! I groaned as a second wave of buyers regret washed over me. This kind of silly game playing is precisely the reason I try to stay away from Apples sticky technological web.

I decided to just try to enjoy my small Alaskan mountain town public transit ride. The locals were a bit of a gong show and I noticed that a lot of the kids were with child or awkward gangster wanna be’s. I was glad that I didn’t have to endure this type of painful drama on a regular basis.

After hopping off the bus, I hightailed it back to the ship for lunch in hopes that maybe a spot of food would raise my mood. Turns out it didn’t work at all. I even had half a cookie but no dice. Infact, I felt worse for it. I wondered why my face was so flushed and if maybe I was having a reaction to something I had eaten. Knowing full well that I have no allergies to speak of, it finally dawned on me that it must have been the beer. It wasn’t that I drank a lot, but now that I am a non-drinker, my tolerance is really low.

I decided to sleep it off. I layed down for a few minutes with no success then popped up to head back into town. I was determined to get this new contraption working if it was the last thing I did. I seemed to have forgotten all about the laundry at this point.

I headed up to the public library in speculation that they would have some sort of internet set up. I was right and they had several terminals as well as free wi-fi. After a good fifteen minutes of trying to connect, I gave up. I waited at the equally slow elevator to head into the downtown to find a better connection. After wandering around and trying several hot-spots, my frustration was intensifying. I could get low signals but at this rate it would take me hours to download the program.

I finally ducked into a coffee shop which promised me a secure line if I bought something from them. I sipped my Americano as I scanned the room for a power outlet. Would you believe that every socket in the whole building was covered save for TWO! And of course, those two were being used. After inquiring as to how long the power hogs would be, I plopped down in a chair to wait. As my battery was at only 7 percent, I wasn’t going to start the download only to have it shut down half way through.

Finally, I was able to get it all figured out and got the silly little black rectangle to turn on. It was a bittersweet victory as I I realized I had run out of time and to hightail it back to the ship. I didn’t even have a chance to play with much less adjust the settings. As I navigated the now almost empty streets at top speed, I made the decision to work out immediately when I got back. Surely this would bring my stress levels down.

After a solid workout, I headed up for a late dinner. I found the quietest corner I could and ate a whole lotta lettuce, shrimp, and fruit. I felt a lot better and realized that rather than complicate things, I should choose the straightforward path. I suppose buying the new techie toy was perhaps not the best choice. I should have just stuck with getting the headphones. Lesson learned…when in doubt, K.I.S.S.

Grateful for simplicity.

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