bloom and grow forever

I'm sure the Baroness will be able to make things fine for you. If not, a year in Russia sure will.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Real Estate

I'm sad about leaving my apartment. It has three rooms, which is big for here. One is for the owner's dusty, pre-revolutionary junk, but the other two are clean and large and bright. We don't have the standard, oppressively large wooden shelf/cabinet/display case combo that dominates most homes. The windows are big, and the cream-colored wallpaper is new. My ceiling has nifty glow-in-the-dark stars, and a door leads out to a spacious balcony. The kitchen has nice cabinets and a working stove and fridge. The floor is swept clean and the counters are uncluttered. The dishes mostly match and the curtains have jolly elephants on them. The bathroom has been recently remodeled, and the water pressure is excellent.

I'm a ten-minute walk from a bus stop on the main circle line in Vladimir, so transportation is reliable. But that walk can be very long and dark. And (if you imagine a clock face), if the city center and the American Home are at 12, I live at 6. It takes me 30 minutes to get to work.

I'm going to live alone next year, and see how it goes. We'll see if I can cook and clean and entertain myself and my guests. I had a chance to rent an acquaintance's (continuing a theme: her name is Tanya) one-room place over on Verkhnaya Dubrova street, but it's not on the main but route and has no furniture. As exciting as redecorating might sound, it's not something I can embark upon with my current salary. Local real estate listings are known to be somewhat less than honest, and they don't list prices.

And so I'm going to live in Joanna's current one-roomer. I know it well, from much tea-drinking, tv-watching, game-playing, and post-banya snoozing. I'm not thrilled about the pathetic shower or the 1000-year-old stove. And I know I sound privileged when I say I don't want to have to light a fire in some mysterious box when I want hot water, but there it is. I don't want to have to light fires.

It's the third stop from the center on the circle line, and from the stop to my door it's about 2 minutes. On a speedy marshrutka, I can get to work in about 12 minutes, or walk in 25. And being lead teacher, and being so conveniently located, I intend to have the coolest apartment around. We'll see how the landlord and neighbors feel about that.


Blogger Joanna said...

Lighting fires is fun, especially the oven fire. An adventure every time. And it will never be too quiet and lonely at night, because the fridge buzzes, shakes, and shudders constantly. Home sweet home. I'll miss it.

8:24 AM  
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8:57 AM  
Blogger Mike & Lucy said...


My wife, son, and I are currently living in Moscow (we are from America), and are thinking of moving to a different city. I see that you are living in Vladimir and are renting an apartment. We are really curious about the cost of living there. I was wondering if you would be able to email us so that we could ask you a few questions?

9:14 AM  

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