Oh hey, welcome to my place. Come inside!
I hope that guy in the parking lot who was up to his elbow in a goat didn’t freak you out too much. Are you cool walking up four flights of steps? Because we don’t do elevators. Yes, I know the concrete stairs look like they were poured by a toddler with a Play-doh tool kit and only the vaguest idea as to what stairs are, but that’s Mongolia. Try not to trip going up.
Come in, come in!
Shut the door behind you, please.
Yes, that is thick padding thumbtacked to the door. This is because Mongolian winters are known for their balmy temperatures that are so enjoyable, we are apt to be injured throwing ourselves against the door in our haste to get outside and climb a palm tree.
On your way back in, you can wash the coconut milk out of your face in my bathroom.
That thing on the left is a washing machine that is such a pain in the ass, it’ll eventually get its own blog post, but not a complaining one because I have a washing machine. On the right is the best part: my HOT SHOWER. It’s a bit of a process–you have to turn the heater on, turn the water on, and then turn the sink on for temperature adjustment (I’m not making that up), but HOT SHOWER. Unfortunately the other day the electrical box that someone intelligently placed right next to the water started sparking, so it’s entirely possible that my hot shower will electrocute me, in which case, REALLY HOT SHOWER.
Follow me this way to the kitchen!
I’ve even got a balcony! It slopes downward enough that I’m really uncomfortable going out on it, but hey, I’ve got a distant view of the Kazakh cemetery.
Let’s take this party into the living room, shall we?
So this is basically the party room, the dining room, the guest room, the studio, and the office, all rolled into one ginormous room that I more or less live in. As you can see, the blind is a bit…special. It broke at some point, so tenants more innovative than I rigged up loops on either side of the window so that you can stick the manually rolled-up blind in for a really ghetto but perfectly functional window treatment.
Those enterprising tenants also took care of the lack of shelving in my living room’s broken dresser-thing…with cardboard.
And finally, my bedroom. Not a super exciting room, since all I do is sleep here, but I’ve got one. My little bed squeaks like a roomful of mice on LSD, making it sound like I’m having really enthusiastic sex every time I turn over, but whatever. Have a bed.
And that’s my apartment! Almost everything in it is breaking or broken, but I love this dumb place so much because it’s mine. It’s also the largest apartment among my circle of friends, so we have weekly (occasionally daily) parties and get-togethers here, and I can finally host backpackers, couchsurfers, and random people I meet on street (don’t worry, it’s cool because Mongolia).
One thing I have been surprised to discover about myself since moving here is that I LOVE living alone. I always figured I was too introverted to be allowed my own apartment, but it turns out that living by myself somehow makes me less of a hermit. So to my friends I am constantly going “You want tea? Cookies? I’ll cook you dinner, we can watch a movie, play a game, whatever, just COME OVER AND HANG OUT WITH ME. NO, DON’T TEXT. JUST COME OVER. You’ll come over? FABULOUS!”