Alaska is the only place I’ve lived (including central America) where house guests have exclaimed, “Wow, you really have running water??” Alaska is a state where a lot of people still use out houses and many have neither running water or electricity. A word of warning- “half-bath” in Alaska doesn’t necessarily mean the half with a toilet. When we first moved here we were surprised to discover that the “half bath” in the house we rented was a dirty bath tub next to the washer and dryer. You needed snow shoes in April to reach the toilet –an out house – a door-less, cobbled together shack on a cliff face overlooking three glaciers (still the best view from a pot I’ve ever had).
The town we live near has a short hose sticking out of a cement wall at Safeway for people without running water to fill up for home. The spout always has a line of people waiting with their water jugs, so I’m guessing a lot of people don’t have water. You can notice this in the general trend amongst Alaskans not to bathe and/or groom themselves. That’s how Alaskans can spot outsiders – they brush their hair. All you need to go out in public in Alaska is boots and a parka to cover up your filthy pajamas and greasy hair. It really takes the pressure off a girl. No matter what, I still look better than a crab fishermen with Robert Redford skin who has been living on a boat for 68 days.