People say that it takes a village to raise a child. I would argue for an expat, making a house (or an apartment) a home also takes a village. A little over two weeks ago, my flatmate and I moved into our new apartment. We were looking for more independence than living with a host family had afforded us.
My new apartment is in a district outside of the city center. It’s a spacious (2-bedroom, balcony, kitchen, and full bath+ washer) first-floor apartment close to the bus stop. As soon as we paid the retailer (9,000 rubles—highway robbery) and the owner left, the benefits ended.
In the midst of grading final exams we moved-in. We found ourselves with a mold-ridden bathroom, a seat-less toilet, a leaky faucet, see-through curtains, and furniture infested with fleas and bed bugs. Our freedom had turned into an arduous challenge.
Over break I have made it my mission to make the apartment livable. Many people have helped us clean the apartment. Others have donated accessories and information about where to find cleaning supplies. Honestly, I have never been more excited in my life to receive a new pillow and blankets for Christmas/New Year’s presents.
So now, after the extermination of the bugs, I can finally make a cocoon in my bed and relax for the rest of winter break.
Pictures of us hanging up curtains that are not see-through.