Creations of Necessity

Living in a world where you don’t have everything is actually kinda nice. It forces you to be creative at times. I lived without a fridge this summer and somehow I am still alive. I buy only what I need/will use and eat leftovers promptly. When the gas, water, or electricity goes out I just adjust my life accordingly (cold meals/no bathing, use stored water/use the aghbyur [spring] outside, and candles). There is no Target in Vardenis. Thus, for some of my household needs I have reverted back to my childhood building skills, when I used to make little cities out of blocks or shoe boxes.

Here are some of my creations:

Bathroom Shelf

Sent with love from my mom, this USPS Flat Rate Box was turned into a handy bathroom shelf, also with love. Now my glasses and contact lenses have a precarious place to rest during their downtime. When it gets droopy in the middle I just flip it over. And cleaning is a cinch – just pull it out and flap it vigorously! Best of all, it’s only fallen down twice, a way better rate than any fancy shelf you’ll find back home.

Not ideal, but neither is a soviet bloc apartment

Hyut Incense Holder

My daily hyut (juice) habit and some leftover incense from Aga led to my very own Apple Juice-themed incense holder. Just pop your incense into the hole and hope it fits. If not, make another hole with ease. No need to buy some hippie wood-carved incense holder when you have a nice collection of Hj8 cartons at your disposal.

Incense: A great alternative to BO

Gerkules Dustpan

And now, introducing my latest creation: The Gerkules (Oatmeal) Dustpan. Worthy of Russia’s finest oats, and now my dead skin cells and hair, this little guy makes sweeping fun. No longer am I forced to use toilet paper to try to scoop up that pile of dust. I simply sweep it into the Gerkules Dustpan and go about my day worry free. And yes, it works just as well as any plastic dustpan you can find in the States. It even leaves that fine little line of debris that is impossible to sweep into the dustpan so you just sweep it into the corner and wonder if you are a bad person for doing that.

I love you Gerkules

I often get odd looks from other PCVs when I tell them that my bank account balance is not hovering near 0. In fact, it has quite a few zeros due to something I call SAVING. I get odd looks from Armenians when I tell them I live alone. Yes, I cook, clean, do laundry, and even wipe my own butt. I know it’s all hard to believe but it is possible! Creations like these help me do it and have fun in the process.


6 Responses to “Creations of Necessity”

  1. Jim Says:

    You are the man. I guess duct taping an ltm deck has taught you a thing or two!!!

  2. icenugget Says:


  3. Gail Says:

    Kev, you could use a piece of duct tape to pick up that last fine line of floor crud—then you don’t have to waste time thinking you might be a bad person. Speaking of duct tape—how is your supply?

  4. Peter Says:

    I will wipe your butt when you’re in Chicago in a couple months. It’s been awhile since we lived together, but you’re a back-to-front kind of guy, right?

  5. icenugget Says:

    Duct tape is one of the things I brought and haven’t used. That list is small though.

    Peter, I’m a side-to-side guy believe it or not.

  6. Gail Says:

    Use the duct tape on the bottom of that mattress of yours!

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