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Old 07-08-2012, 05:30 AM
1 posts, read 3,021 times
Reputation: 13


I've been working in the tourist industry in Valdez for nearly ten years. You might enjoy my favorite dumb tourist questions that I've gotten.

1) How far above sea level am I? (How tall are you? That would be about it.)
2) Do bears have retractable claws? (No. Only members of the feline species have retractable claws.)
3) Is it legal to hunt mammoths? (Yes, but it's very difficult to get close enough to kill one. We humans have pretty much given up on hunting mammoths.)
4) Where do you keep the eagles? Why haven't I seen one, yet? (Go outside and look up. Chances are good you'll spot one. If not, try again in a few minutes.)

And my favorite:

5) What time do the bears come to the water to start eating the salmon? (Well, they're supposed to be there at 2:30 p.m. every day but they were 45 minutes late yesterday so they were fired. We can't have irresponsible unreliable bears here--you understand why we had to let them go...)

Please share your favorite stupid tourist questions. If we can keep laughing, we can keep sane.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:12 AM
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,843 posts, read 3,667,340 times
Reputation: 3071
From a tourist in Barrow:

"Why are there houses here, I thought Eskimos lived in igloos?"

I told her the big screen TVs kept getting wet.


"Can you see polar bears in town?"

Usually the hind parts since the front parts are either running away from people with guns or eating someone.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:29 AM
1,160 posts, read 1,295,349 times
Reputation: 1206
Those are great.

Years ago I worked on the California coast at a tourist spot, and during the grey whale migration people would ask what time the whales would come by to feed--so I totally 'get' your favorite bear question.

A friend who worked at an amusement park was asked 'What time does the 2:00 show start?'
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:49 AM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,060,389 times
Reputation: 13302
On a Caribbean weather forum that I belong to we often get the same type of question, months and sometimes even a year in advance. For example: "On March 14, 2012: I am getting married in Jamaica on October 15. Will there be a hurricane then?"

Yes. However, change your wedding date to the 14th and you will be fine.

Another common one is, a tourist is ready to go on vacation but a catastrophic hurricane is barreling towards the island: "That's okay. I'm going to go anyway. I can get some shopping in!" They are quite puzzled when flights to the island are cancelled.

Um honey, it's a safe bet the stores will be closed. A lot of people are shocked to learn that in Mexico it is illegal to drink alcohol when a hurricane has you in its sights.

It kind of makes me think that the catastrophes that they see on the news they assume aren't real.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:25 AM
Location: Anchorage, AK
48 posts, read 64,878 times
Reputation: 37
People are so funny!

While moving from Hawaii to Maryland in the 90's we flew our car into California and drove across the country. We had to have 2 dozen people ask us how we got our car with Hawaiian plates to the mainland. We finally started telling them we took the bridge - and when they asked where we slept we told them the hotels along the bridge.

People are so funny!
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:13 AM
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,557 posts, read 3,927,693 times
Reputation: 1918
I drove tour bus for two years between Anchorage, Seward, Denali and Valdez.
One guy complained he didn't come to Alaska to see nothing but trees. When I asked what he expected he said he didn't know, but not trees.

One day I took a group to Portage Lake/Glacier. The whole way down along the Turnagain Arm I talked about the tides, it's connection to Cook Inlet and the Pacific Ocean, fish, etc... As we traveled up Portage Valley I talked about it's significance as a connection to the Prince William Sound via Portage Pass and/or the Whittier Tunnel.
So we stop at the Begich/Boggs center and I give them a time to be back at the coach for getting over to Portage Glacier Cruises for their boat trip. Everyone got back on the coach on time, except one lady. When she finally got to the coach, she was huffing and puffing from her hurry to get there. To cover for it, she said "Boy, it's hard to get your air being this high up... What is our altitude anyway?" She was pretty dismayed when I explained we where pretty much at sea level.

When seeing the silt in the water in the Portage River, I had one guy ask why we weren't doing something to clean it up.

Heading to Seward one time we got stuck in construction for about 30 minutes just south of Moose Pass. I had one guy very upset that I didn't take "the other road." I had to actually get my map out and show him there wasn't any other road. He thought that was the dumbest thing in the world.

I had a lady upset that it was going to be a 6 hour drive from Anchorage to Denali. She said it didn't look that far on the map.

I also had all the standard ones: Where can I trade my American money for Alaskan money... What time do they turn on the Northern Lights... Where's the igloos... Is it true they pay you to live in Alaska...
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:53 PM
Location: Noblesville, IN
3,687 posts, read 3,922,089 times
Reputation: 6122
I'm astounded that people ask what time the Northern Lights get turned on? Or the sea level question, while standing on the shore of THE SEA...hmmmm...you guys have a lot of patience...or so it seems...
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:00 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,300,817 times
Reputation: 13691
"Is that sinew that's keeping the dogsled together?"

Was asked this a few years ago at a dogsled race here.

'Looks like rope to me!'

Some people have no clue.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:14 PM
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,843 posts, read 3,667,340 times
Reputation: 3071
Today, on the phone, from the rep at QVC: "Do they have zipcodes in Alaska?"

Yes, yes we do. That way the reindeer know where to go when they deliver mail.

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:53 PM
4,986 posts, read 8,283,109 times
Reputation: 3264
"What does Portage mean? Isn't that some kind of soup?"
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