Alaskans still use out houses


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. 


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One Response to “Alaskans still use out houses”

  1. drjfm Says:

    I don’t see what is bad about fresh air and a view in the outside half bath — beats my view of a shower curtain and the door, although I am warm in the winter.

    And what is that about no hair brushing??? I just got you a brush and comb for a birthday present. Sarah Palin looks well washed and groomed — surely you exaggerate. I guess there must not be many un-married women in Alaska — love your description of attractive elements in the Alaskan mating ritual.

    Keep it up, but check under your car each morning….

    drjfm PEI

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