Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life so far in the apartments

So our apartments are an interesting mix of disgusting and broken. For the most part we have cleaned and fixed them, but I will describe them to you as we found them.

So my apartment is three rooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. I share it with two other girls from the trip. I share my bedroom with one of the girls, and we each have what is bed described as a wooden cot. Although I honestly do not spend that much time sleeping on it, we usually hang out in someone else's apartment until two or three, fall asleep there, wake up in the middle of the night and come back here.

Then there is one bedroom where the other girl sleeps, and a living room. The living room had a couch, a loveseat, and two chairs in it, but we moved the chairs into the hallway by the dining table, which is in the hallways because it doesn't fit in the kitchen. The living room is turning into mostly the laundry room, because the drying rack is in there, and because the chairs are in the hallway we chill in the hall.

The kitchen is a hot mess. First of all, it is extremely small, even compared to the other apartments. There's barely enough room for two people to stand in there at the same time, but it's okay. There is a cabinet for the meager amount of dishes we have, a stove, a gas tank for the stove, a fridge, and our washing machine. Originally the washing machine was in the bathroom, but we moved it into the kitchen, which I can explain when I tell you about the bathroom. The kitchen floor is always kind of wet, because when the laundry machine drains, it drains into this thing in the floor, but the thing is full of hair and bugs and disgustingness, and while I am willing to clean almost anything, there is no way that I'm sticking my hand down that drain to clean it. So when the washing machine drains, the water doesn't go down fast enough so it floods the floor, and we have to use this squeegee brush thing to pull all the water to the drain or terror again.

Actually, let me describe to you the process that is called laundry here. I'm not complaining, it's kind of annoying to do but it's funny so whatever. First, open the top of the washing machine and realize how small it is. Namely, about the size of a shop vac. Then, take a bowl to fill it up with water, and dump it into the machine. There is no water hookup to the machine, so you have to fill it up manually, and a bowl or teapot is the best you can do. Then, put a few things of clothes in, dump in some Persil, the only laundry detergent anybody uses here, and turn it on. Let it wash for fifteen minutes, drain it into the floor like I described earlier, refill it with water and no soap to rinse, and repeat the draining process.

Then move the clothes into what is the size of a wastebasket next to the washing machine and spin them for five minutes,then hang them up on the rack in the living room.

Now let me describe to you the bathroom as we found it. The toilet was broken, the shower head was hanging down because it's a European shower but the thing to hang it on the wall was gone, the mirror is about four inches by six inches, and the drain in the floor here was even worse than in the kitchen. But it's all fixed now after much work on the part of the building manager dude. So were good. Except that the toilet is still. A bit temperamental, but there's nothing we can do about that.

As far as the washing machine in the bathroom, it was supposed to be in there so we could fill it up with the shower head, but the nearest electrical plug was in the hallway, so to use the washing machine in the bathroom it had to be pulled out to whee it blocked the bathroom door from closing so at the plug could reach the outlet. So for the first three days of the stay our bathroom door never really closed, and when you needed the bathroom you had to tell everyone not to look, which was weird. Soon later we decided that we'd rather have to fill it with bowls of water and be able to close the door.

That's pretty much it as far as our own apartment goes. There's six rooms of people from the trip, four on my floor and two below us, and then the other two rooms on the floor below us are the resident director and assistant resident director for the trip.

Oh, one more thing about the apartment itself that I like is that fact that you can go on the roof and chill, just take the stairs or elevator up and chill out there.

Well, we are visiting our host families this afternoon, so I have to go finish my homework now. Bye!

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