Alas, the domavoi, Russian house sprite, is harassing me so I am putting it up for adoption/sale/giving it away. Yes, I know my house is in Georgia, but the house was made during the Soviet period, so I am going to assume it has one.
Several frustrating scenarios have occurred since I have arrived. For instance, the other night, I was walking down the stairwell, which has no lighting, when I stepped on a random cactus. I have no clue from where this cactus came. Luckily, I only had three big thorns that could easily be taken out by tweezers, but why did it have to happen?
Eventually, I fell asleep last night deciding to be proactive by going running in the morning.
Up until today, I have been too worried to exercise. Exercising doesn’t really exist here. Although my host cousin tells me that she does yoga in her apartment back in Tbilisi and runs in the yard while in the village. Previous volunteers warned me about the hassles of exercising outside of the yard. Some advice included a list of inappropriate clothing one should not wear, reasons why you will always be stared at (because people wonder to where are you running and why so quickly), and to watch out for village dogs who will chase you. But after talking to another volunteer who lives several villages away about the inevitability of gaining weight if we didn’t do something now, I decided to give running a try.
So this morning, I went running/walking and gasping for air up the mountain (it could have been a really big hill, I don’t know) to the peach orchards that my family owns. My run was frequently halted by herds of sheep, getting hit by figs falling from the sky, and rocky paths that were too dangerous to run. But I managed to get a work out, and headed back home proud of conquering my fear.
Then the domavoi struck. I went into the bathroom to take a shower, and there was no electricity. This meant I couldn’t take a shower. I am now used to not having electricity during the day, but not when I want to shower. My host mother and father explained that I would have to take a bucket bath. When hearing the sound of those words strung together, I wanted to cry. I wanted to find the small panjuri hammer and throw a tantrum like my little friend. However, since I am not a one year old, I told myself to save those tears for a time when I would really need them, and drink coffee instead. I drank two cups of coffee and had breakfast while I waited for the 10 liter bucket to boil. I dreaded every moment that went by, praying to all the world’s deities that the electricity would turn on, but alas no one listened; I had to take the bucket bath.
I managed to take the bucket bath. In order to have a bucket bath, you need two buckets of water, one that is cold and one that is hot. You have to mix the two in a pitcher and bathe accordingly. Let’s just say, I survived and was proud once more that I had conquered yet another challenge. As I was walking up the stairs to my room, I was pondering how these moments of great satisfaction, like running in the peach orchards, are always followed by another challenge, aka the bucket bath. And as I walked into my room, the electricity turned on. ….Not cool, Mr. House Sprite. I really needed to wash my hair today.
So if anyone has literature about how to get rid of domavois or the rules of switching them to another house, I send it my way. I would love to know.