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‘Escaping Alaska’ sees ‘Everything Is Beachy & My First Eskimo Kiss’ on TLC

Alaskan Native like the natives portrayed on Escaping Alaska
Alaskan Native like the natives portrayed on Escaping AlaskaWikimedia Commons

On last night’s episode of “Escaping Alaska,” titled, “Everything Is Beachy & My First Eskimo Kiss,” a group of young people have made a secret pact to leave Alaska and go to San Diego. It is not customary for the indigenous younger generations to leave their homes, in fact; it is considered treason. Their English names are Tamara, Frank, Mary, Q and Nuala.

The native Alaskans are expected to take care of their elders, as generations before them. The communities in this show are led to believe that the young Alaskans are the subject of a documentary about the struggling economy and employment problems facing the younger generation.

Tonight is the night they are leaving Alaska, five strangers, who are nowa family arrive in San Diego in their Eskimo attire as people look at them with quizzical gapes. Where they come from, everyone is dressed in fur, but San Diego is hot all year, the antithesis of where they came from. They find the Lucky D’s Hostel, a cheap place to stay as recommended by their friend who arrived there a while back. They have to share a bathroom and shower in the hostel, but it sure beats going to an outhouse when the temperature is thirty below.

The boys knock on the girl’s door to tell them they are going to the beach. Nobody has a bathing suit, as they never needed one before. However, they head to the beach anyway. Mary wears her regalia (native dress) because it is all she has and the rest grab whatever they can. A man comes out of the water with a boogie board; he has a funny accent and tells the girls he is from Australia, they tell him they are from Alaska, and he wonders what they are doing there. They have never seen a man without a shirt where they come from, and it is a welcome sight. As they sit on the beach, they start to get hungry, and joke about killing a seal and eating it in front of the natives. In Alaska, Eskimos are allowed to kill seals, but white people are not.

Q likes to eat healthy, so no dairy, sugar or bread for him, as they enter the supermarket. They marvel at the prices of the food, which is about a quarter of what they pay at home. Tamara feels that Q should not dictate what they should and should not eat, they should all agree.

They go to a shop that sells only swimwear, another anomaly to them. As Mary tries on a bikini, Frank is loving the look. Tamara, being larger than the other two girls has insecurities immediately, and will probably wear a tank top and shorts. Nuala took forever looking for the perfect bathing suit, while the guys took about five minutes. Finally, they all left her there to her own vanity. As they walked to the beach, they saw a homeless man lying on some lane dividers. They immediately knew that back home, nobody is homeless, no matter how little they have, and walking further, more and more of the homeless appeared, some with signs asking for help. They stopped and asked them questions, most had a loss of loved ones, that were catastrophic to them, and this was where they wound up. They each gave them some money, then realized that if they do not find jobs, they will join them.

Back at the room, Tamara called her mother; she hated to lie to her, but did not let on as to where she was. She cried after she hung up the phone. Later that day, they went on a whale-watching boat, and a girl asked about their culture. When she heard that they killed whales, she was disgusted and walked away from them. So Q went over to her to explain how they could not survive without animals and how they treat their spirits.

She agreed to go on a date with him, and he talked her ears off telling her about Eskimo life. She was a vegetarian, and they enjoyed a meal together. She agreed to another date, but if it happens, is to be determined. He did give her an Eskimo kiss, by rubbing noses, but did not kiss her on the lips.

Mary called Tory; she missed him terribly, and he missed her too and cannot wait until she returns. A guy in a yellow outfit knocked on the guy’s door and asked them to join him for the Mardi Gras festivities. They thought it was only in New Orleans, but he told them they celebrated all over. So the five of them went out together, Tamara noticed a half-naked girl twerking and walking down the street in an elaborate costume, she noted that in Noorvik, she would freeze to death. She joined her friends by dancing in the street and realized that here she can be herself, but at home, everyone would laugh at her adding to her insecurities. Mary left the group to return home; she is missing Tory too much.

As Q was walking down the street wearing lots of beads, a girl came up to him and kissed him for beads, when he asked what she would do for more beads, she showed him her breasts. The group found it easy to talk to people as soon as they heard they were from Alaska. Frank received a phone call during the Mardi Gras. It was from his friend who told him that he saw his mother the other day, and she is having a difficult time getting by, and buying food. He promised to help Frank’s family out, but hoped he would find a job, so he could help his family on this episode of “Escaping Alaska.”