For the first time in nearly 8 months, I am free.

Sunday night I moved into my apartment. After anxiously waiting with my bags packed for several days, I was relieved to hear that the landlord was finally ready. Of course it snowed while I was moving, but no big deal. It was cool to be able to pack up all my belongings and load them into a taxi, take 5 trips up the stairs, and be done with it.

The feeling of having a key, a place of my own, makes me smile just thinking about it. I can come and go as I please without answering questions, I can eat whenever I want, I can take as much time in the bathroom as I want, I can talk to myself like the crazy guy that I am, and so much more. Last night I had spaghetti for the first time in 8 months. ‘nuff said.
I was lucky because Varditer hooked me up with a lot of plates, pots, and utensils. So that drastically cut down on the amount of stuff I have to buy. I still need to get some sort of shelving in the bathroom and some other minor things, but I am up and running.

The weird part for me now is shopping for food every day. Back home I was a once a week shopper. I pretty much was out of food when I would go to the store to get more. And I didn’t like going to the store, so I tried to avoid it. In Armenia, there isn’t a whole lot of food storage going on. People have cellars and have some canned goods, but if they have a refrigerator, chances are it is empty. So I will be doing a lot more shopping now than I’m used to, but it’s okay with me. There is a store on the first floor of my building, so it can’t get much more convenient!

The other challenge is thinking of stuff to cook. They have pasta here, and of course I will abuse that, but I need some variety too. I will probably get pretty good at cooking some basic foods like eggs and potatoes. I still haven’t found any Jack’s pizzas, so I will have to resort to cooking some of the things the locals do.

Finally, laundry. I was eased into the country, with a washing machine and a clothesline. Then I was downgraded to an agitator and hand rinsing. Now I am without even a bucket to my name. So I will be buying some containers and doing laundry by hand. I’ve done it once in Solak and it wasn’t too bad. Keep in mind that we wear our clothes multiple days. Washing things by hand, or even with an agitator, just doesn’t get them that clean anyway, so you don’t wash your clothes nearly as much.

Okay, let me give you a rundown of the glorious apartment. What it lacks in features, it makes up for in Soviet dilapidation.

Floor: 3rd
Rooms: Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, enclosed balcony
Rent: 25,000 AMD ($69) + gas and electricity
MLS Number: Unknown

– 2 single beds and a wardrobe. There is a window that looks out to the front of the building, facing one of the major streets of Vardenis. The window gets sun in the late morning and afternoon, after the sun hurdles the soviet block across the street.

– Toilet, mirror, and bathtub. Also a bonus “Fishing is my therapy” sweatshirt balled up in the corner (former use unknown – not planning to wear at this point). There is a sink, but it is not installed. The drain for a sink is stuffed with trash, so maybe there is a reason it isn’t installed. There is hot water in here.

Kitchen – Sink, stove, a bookshelf type thing I moved in there to store plates and food, and a tiny table. Another street view window. Paint on ceiling is flaking off from water damage – I need to clean it up because it lands all over the bookshelf when I cook.

Dining Room – Table, 7 chairs, bookshelf, coffee table, and a bed. This is where I sleep, eat, and hang out. It’s also the room that I try to heat.

Balcony – Enclosed area with glass windows. A couple bed frames in here (brining my total to 5) and a storage closet. There is a clothesline of questionable integrity outside one of the windows. I will test it by doing pull ups before attempting to hang laundry. Just kidding, I can’t do pull ups!

That’s about it. I need to investigate buying a new heater. After a few functional fixes, I will really be rolling.

The All Purpose Room

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to take pictures of rooms?

Future site of millions of pasta meals

PC Water Filter: Taking up a ton of space and maybe saving PCVs from diarrhea but maybe not too


7 Responses to “Independence”

  1. Peter Says:

    Nice! Congrats brah! The Soviet dilapidation remark cracked me up. Why aren’t you sleeping in your bedroom? Are you going to push the two twins together and make a queen? Are you going to throw some awesome parties?

  2. Aunt Kim Says:

    I’d never make it there! Congrats on getting your own place.

  3. icenugget Says:

    @ Peter – Thanks! I don’t sleep in the bedroom because it is easier to try to heat one room. The dining room has doors between the kitchen and the hallway, so you can cut it off. One of the twins I moved into the dining room to serve as a couch of sorts, so no queen for me. Awesome parties? Yeah!

    @ Aunt Kim – You could totally make it here. For instance, taxi rides for $1.50? For everything that seems harder, there is something else easier.

  4. Beth Crookshank Says:

    I’m so happy you are out of that house! Sounds like you found a decent place considering the options – especially with the special sweatshirt treat! I didn’t check to see if your address was updated on here, but if not, let us know the new one. (Max is in constant bewilderment of your experiences btw)!

  5. icenugget Says:

    Thanks Beth! It is definitely a decent place and I am very happy about it! And I misquoted the sweatshirt. It reads, “Fishing is cheaper than therapy,” which is better than what I said in the post. Tell Max that I am also in constant bewilderment of things here 😀

    On address, I will update the site. But since it just goes to the post office (no mail delivery), the crucial part of my address has not changed (the 1601 part).

  6. Wayne Burt Says:

    I told people they could send my mail to Mickey Mouse drive Vardenis 1601 and I would surely get it. Saco uses us to read the American mail anyway.

  7. icenugget Says:

    I love Sako! He might be worthy of a blog post…

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