Here we go! Lukas fullfiled another dream and was few months at Alaska. How it was, fish, trip, fish, work, fish, people, fish, nature, fish, stories, fish, and much more fish will be able to read in this Randomary. First part include prologue and first 5 days of this adventure.
PROLOGUE – IMPORTANT, USELESS WELCOME WORDS
My dear…. oh whatever.
If you read my Swiss Adventure on instagram you already know what awaits you. If you didn’t read it and you want to know what awaits you, go and read it. Or don’t read it and better take some book. My writing is just totally random and that’s why I wanted to name this story Randomiary. Problem is that I wrote down really every day. So I will name it Randomiary. anyway. I’m writing Randomiary because I want to get better in English, leave here something for me and also share my story to people who can’t follow me.
This year road led me to Alaska. Sadly not because of traveling, but for first time in my life, because of money. On my way to hunt down freedom I gave myself target “Buy a van and rebuild it so I can live there.” so I could enjoy my trips even more. For that I need some money and that’s why I for first time in my life left Europe.
But my story starts even earlier. Start was planed for June, work 3 months on salomon factory and next 2 months travel trough Amerika. Thanks to Trump, sun eruptions #LukyLuck and whatever all paperwork around visas went so long that I spend whole summer at Czech Republic so I went to Alaska by start of August. Which means that Salomon season was already gone and plan B was COD. Problem was that even COD season was ending and crab season was on its start early beginning which leads to situation where (not just me) stucked on island where you can’t do anything….. (More info about this situation will be described later in Randomiary. )
Last thing before we start is introduction of my coworker’n’travel buddies. In factory where, in main season, worked over 1000 workers was 90% of Africans and Mexicans, few Filipino and Japanese guys (Who was mainly on leading possitions.) and >1% Evropans. From Czech Republic departed 5 persons.
Radek: The only almostnontravel guy thanks who I survived both ways in plane.
Martin: Big traveler thanks who I survived all work shifts.
Jiri: Another traveler thanks who we had all informations.
Bára: The only girl in our group. She is also in relationship with Jiri and “Shut up!”
DAY 1 – MY WAY TO ALASKA AKA FIRST PART OF RANDOMIARY
It is really happening. I’m leaving Europe for first time in my life. It’s early morning and my mum is taking me by car to Sokolov (First bigger city next to my birthtown.) (THANK YOU!!!!!) from where I continue by bus to Prague. (As for thousand times this summer.) Where I’m meeting with Radek who will make me company for whole time.
First few introductory sentences and let’s go for checkin where we have luck because after thousands failed online checkins, because of visa, We’re getting all boarding passes and we don’t need to take care of luggage on transfers. That helped me a lot because airport at Frankfurt is (as I have found out) suuuuuper huge so we traveled over hour just to get from gate to gate. Way from Frankfurt to Anchorage was way more interesting because we departed at 14:20 and arrived (after 9 hours in the air) at 14:10 the same day. Crying baby and no space for legs included. Whole time was quite goot just I didn’t fall asleep what I planed but whatever. I saw bit of Greenland ♥ and Harry Potter movie.
After arrival came the fun part. Who was going on random check? Of course me. And what did they conficate? Noodle soop. Because they still have fear from bird flu so that chicken noodle soop is really huge threat. But they’ve been good to me. All of people we met. Like that bus driver who stopped by bus stop which wasn’t his stop just to show us way because he saw us searching at map. We found our Airbnb and straight went exlpore surrounding area. Oh maybe bit bigger surrounding area because we walked 16km. Searching for open grocery store and ATM (In capital) was also fun. Everything is really huge here. Roads, cars, doors, people, hydrants, trash bins, trash, food, cranny at toilet doors, just everything. I saw an indian girl ♥ aaand I’m going to sleep. GN
DEN 2 – ALASCAN GREETINGS
Straight in the morning we’re leaving one of the best hostels I’ve ever been and we’re headding for company meeting. We’re meeting rest of our czech group and they’re really great. They have travelled so much that they need second passport just to have space for new visa. Let the fun begin. People are chatting in small groups mostly by their nationality. (Either Slovaks either Polish guys are not here. How strange is that.) All of them looks pretty important or tired just our group are laughing our asses off..
First part on our program was drug test. Jiri is asking if we thing that he’ll pass when he smoked spliff before departure. Probably yes so he is talking with Martin (Not that Slovak one.) to pee him into plastic (weed) bag which he pour into the tester so he passed. Martin is cursing him because on his test time he almost didn’t pee enough to reach the line. Then we’re waiting ethernity amount of time till 2PM. While bored by waiting Jiri is stealing one drug test and going for his real, secret try. Well he would be doomed. Tester is showing possitive THC so that would mean instant deportation by his money + never ever getting working visa to USA.
Later on we’re starting first of many Saboteur (My favourite card game.) games. Everybody likes it, yesssss. Even later we’re getting information that everybody is going to work at “Kodiak” factory (where it is really nice) juuuuust Czech and Bulgarian guys are going on small island “Akutan” which is around 20 km big. There is just factory, post and church (Where is even gym.) They’re telling us that it’s good because there is more work. “Yeeey” Everybody left and our turn is tomorrow. We got paid room and food so we’re going straight for late lunch. Everybody else is chilling and I’m going to explore some more of Alaskan nature. I found nice trail going trough swamp and hydroplane airport. On dinner I found out that, Alaska is showing why I love you because here is true ruler nature, not humans, we’re not flying tomorrow because of storm and people from Kodiak party came back to hotel so no flying. I’m dining medium sized pizza which is biggest I’ve ever eated and I’m going sleep. PS They have Reesers here. ♥
DAY 3 – MY FIRST BIG SHIP TIP
It’s morning and we’re waking up with knowing that nobody knows anything. After hotel breakfast we’re getting information that only Akutan crew is flying today. I’m packing my dinner pizza just to get food ticket which we have to spend on airport. So I’m throwing pizza away because of security check which will never come. First we’re scaling bags, second ourselves. Hmmm strange. That’s because we’re flying with small plane and every kg counts. There is only one stevard who do everything. Check in, ticket check, say and show security video, bring you food and drinks and in the end she throws your bags out from plane. What a job. For first time in my life (It’s gonna be many moments in this trip so get use to this sentence. :D) I’m flying with propeller plane. Flight takes 2 hours and 1200km. In half way there I’m getting seasick. Just in the best moment when Jiri talks about picking morels at Canada. Bara is also getting sick and Jiri is still telling story how he got lost in the middle of nowhere. (Video where are Martin and Jiri collecting Morels.)
After arrival there is nobody waiting for us. So we have to call the only number we got aaaand there he is. Super funny guy who is waiting 4 hours with us for our ship to come. So we’re eating, exploring Dutch Harbor island and eating again. Guy is telling us “The way will takes 4 hours because sea is pretty rough right now.” “What? 4 hours? Rough sea? Really? I’m dead.” I’m already feeling sick and everybody else gets pretty nervous. “Also take this pills they’ll help you with sea sickness. If you’ll not take them, you’ll want to jump from the ship.” Let’s eat for last time and go for it. Our part of crew are’re getting taxi where sits pretty nice indian girl. (I like them here so far.) “So where is your ship?” she’s asking in harbor. “How should we know that? We know nothing. You should follow that guy who called you.” “Oh yeah, let me call him.”
We’re finally stanidng in front of huge ship called “Eastern Wind“. I’m saying good bye to soil and don’t like it at all. Everybody else is laughing but I know what is comming and I really don’t like it! Everybody is aboard and one sailor with huge natural respect (25 people don’t dare to make a sound when he is talking.) is telling us what to not/do. We’re trying rescue suit (Because watter here is so cold that without it you can’t survive more than 3 minutes.) and who is going first? Of course me and I totally fucked up, because sailor didn’t tell us anything about it and on my mistakes is showing how to do it right. I really don’t like it. Are we there yet? He is telling us that ship is really not vacation one “So do whatever you want, just don’t go outside and when anybody come, get out of his way. Especially when’ll captain come.” We’re departing and I’m getting really sick. After getting on open sea, first guy is already puking. Many people are laughing because he is puking after 30 minutes of 4 hours trip. For me it’s not that funny because few moments later I’m puking too. Everybody is quite because now they know that it’s really not gonna be fun. In another 30 minutes is puking more than half of us in ethernal rythm of wave after wave and everybody else is on the edge to join us so they don’t want to even move. I’m puking whole 3 hours so exhausted that I’m just laying on the ground without possibility to even open eyes. The only thing I remember is when Jiri had need go to take a pee but not on the toilet. (Because he was milimeter from puking and the ship was throwing you around the room when you tried to stand up.) So he was peeing in to the puking bag (also hitted few hands which was helping gim to hold it.) and Martin had to go throw it away because he was the only one used to sea. Another who was totally ok was some sailor who was from beginning trying to help everybody by carrying puking bags but after a while he gave up because of was too many people so instead he watched a movie. Another fun part was when there was no puking bags left.
When we arrived into the bay everything got quiet and everybody fell asleep. While getting off the ship I’m greeting ground again and the only thing I want is to sleep or die. They’re loading us into a car so I thing that we’ll go somewhere else but we only go round a building to kick us off again. Before I though that it will be small factory somewhere in the middle of nowhere with few cottages around but it’s not that at all. This is one of the main fishing points in America. Huge 2 factories with over 1000 workers . Everybody is in shock. Getting bed sheets is like in jail from american movie and it takes forever. I really want to go sleep it’s almost midnight and it was really exhausting day. By the room numbers we realise that nobody fom us will be our room mate. I have room with 3 Africans who really want to know who is that new guy. Conversation is really the last thing I want to do now so I’m fastly putting everything on my bed, spare blanket pinning on the wall as a curtain so I have bed bunker as everybody else and next moments are just about DELIVERANCE.
DAY 4 – HOW TO CUDDLE SALOMON
Alarm is shouting but I’m lazy corpse. Stomach upside down so I’m thrying at least eat fruit from plane. I’m getting on meeting point 5 minutes earlier but late anyway. I hate it! I’m asking everybody around on the way but nobody knows. Just security guy (after asking another xx people) is showing me where to go. Training already started so I’m getting that feeling nobody likes. Whole day we have training and they’re showing us what is where. Also getting our gear and stuff. Only Czech guys are making fun from everything while everybody else is dead serious so time runs pretty fast. Even that was pretty exhausting and at the end of the day we have many unanswered questions. I’ve got (for first time in my life) night shift “C” 18:00-6:30. Marting is trying to get the same shift as me and he succeed. Rest of our group have opposite shift. (“A” 6:00-18:30) Lunch time is for first time when I get to galley and…. it again looks like in jail from american movie. You just take a tray and they’re loading you food as you want. Sides, deserts etc. you can take on your own. Before arrival I was bit skeptic how it’s gonna be with food because every body knows school galley. Food tastes good and they’re giving you big portions. I had mexican beef, beens, tortila, salad and desert. Yummyyy. The only problem is that all of us took too much food because you can really take anything so we’re continuing with next training totally full. Boring and exhausted. Finally free time.
We’re exploring Akutan city. Roads are made as a pier and everybody is driving quads here. Every house’ve got ship, quad and net on their garden. Salt eats everything. Overgrown, rusty playiground looks like from horror movie especially when swing is moving by the wind. We’re walking further and what is there? Some movement. Everybody runs there and on the place where is stream going into the sea are salomons trying to swim against the stream. Radek is trying to catch one but Bara is taking one by it’s tail without respect and “Come on Jiri! Make me a picture.” We’re putting all of them into the sea because they’re going stupidly into the small stream comming from the mountain located above the city. Everywhere around lies fishes without heads. Strange. We’re watching giantic eagle fishing and eating his catch. That’s a bit bigger chicken. Amazing. Sea is magical. It’s totally awesome but I’ve got huge respect and fear of unknown. For dinner we’re eating too much again. Yummyyyy. Before bed time I’m trying to connect on the internet but I found out that you have to pay for it. A lot. Mobil signal is catchable totally randomly but it makes no sense try to catch it because you can’t even send SMS which means that connection with outher world = 0. It’s pissing me off just because nobody even knows that I left Anchorage. Everything was so fast. I’m so tired. Good night.
DAY 5 – FIRST DAY OF ETHERNITY
Okey, it’s here. First working day. I start at evening but I still don’t know my position so I’m bit nervous but stil belive that it’s gonna be allright. My room mate Alibaba is giving me wifi password so I could let the world to know that I’m still alive which is awesome. What’s not awesome is information that we have to go work 3 hours later because ship didn’t come. So we’re waiting till 21:00 for more info. In the end I could again start to learn how to speak deutch. First shift: We started and ended at 9 so I didn’t loose any money yeeey. (That I could sleep next night less than 6 hours is not that big yeey.) Yeeey I can work with Martin. Our line is processing fish “Pollock” (Small fish 8 cents/g) . Fish is getting from ship to factory by pipes where it’s falling on start of our line. 2 guys are putting fish on belt with prepared space for fish one way whole day. Belt brings fish to mashine which cut off head, skin and everything so on next belt are falling just filets. There are next 2 workers straightening them with “head” down so next 4 workers can check filet after filet to have it without defect. (bones, fins, bloodmarks, parasites, etc. ) Checked filet came to me where I put it with special grip to basket with by system tail to tail, skin on skin. Next guy was preparing us emtpy baskets and taking our full ones and putting them on another belt which brink them to the scaling guys. They scaled every basket to 18 punds and as last thing was packing, freezing and export.
First hours was pretty chaotic but then it was better. Martin is struggling with the grip because he can’t see how the others did it but later he gets his style and everything is okey. After lunch they sent us for straightening filets and it was so fucking fast that I had no chance to do it. Nobody told us how they want it or some secret trick so it’s horrible. Mexican girl who should be checking my filets is swearing in her language but nobody really show me what to do so I do how I can. Martin can do it much better than me. Nobody is shouting at us so it’s good. Problem is that whole line is so low that our backs hurt as hell. We put our rain gear on and off around 365x per day and I hate it. We’re totally bad at straightening so we go back to filling the baskets. Before the end of the shift they told us that we have overtime so we can work out our late start. As only one from our Czech crew they choosed me to go work in other factory. Without any word, without knowing anything at all. Just guy came and said. “You follow me.” So I follow with big wtf in my head.
In this factory we process another fish “COD“. One Indian lady took me for training with knife. She is asking me if I’ve ever done trimming. I’m telling her that I have no idea where am I and what it’s going on. She just smiles and started with training. In front of me is big belt with tons of filets which still have bones. You had to make special move to cut them off and have nice filet. She is swinging with knive with speed of light and telling me ” I do this almost 11 years.” I belive so. Now it’s my time. I’m grabbing knive into left hand and her eyes starts glittering with hapiness. “Yeey you’re lefty. Look I’ll show you.” And she starts use her knive even 5161511651 times faster. I can’t belive it. After show I can finally try it and when I think that I’m starting be good she told me “Just practise it today but next time you should do 8 filets in minute.” hmmm okey I’m not that good….
They also taught us how to wash our hands. By song. Which we should sing. And dance where you show how’re washing your hands. No thanks. Me, singing and dancing are really not friends. So miss Dayana is watching me and says “Come on Lukas, sing it’s fun.” No thanks I’ll stay grumpy. Next thing was their education system how to show us filets and their defects. The only problem was that I didn’t know if they’re joking or not. They’ve been telling it to us like to total mentals like: This is POLLOCK (pointed on word “POLLOCK”) this is POLLOCK (pointed on picture of pollock) this is POLLOCK (pointed on filet in front of us). And now repeat POLLOCK POLLOCK POLLOCK. This is head…… and it took us ethernity of brainwashing. I though that it’s gonna be my end. That’s it for today. I’m going sleep and tomorrow work. 😛