I’ve spent a month in my new house now, adjusting to all of the new space and sharing it all with my office, roommates, and their office. To be honest, one of the hardest aspects of college for me was having roommates (I switched housing every semester), but this living situation is just swell so far.
It helps that we all have our own designated space; Carl, Juliska and baby Belgian (due in June!) have the whole top floor, the two offices and our shared kitchen are on the ground floor, and Farrell, Mamajan and I have the bottom floor. That means, if I’m feeling social, I pretty much always have friends nearby, but if my introvert tendencies kick in, I can retreat to my “apartment”.
Plus, the garden? I cannot gush enough about it. Now that it’s officially spring in Bishkek, let’s just say it’s the most amazing thing ever. The grass is green, all of the spindly, dead bushes are coming back to life, and the orchard (the orchard!) is blooming. We suspect that we’ll soon have cherries, apples, plums, and apricots. In other words, my backyard will feed me, and I’m so stoked for that.
There are definitely a few quirks to the property though.
– Cricket balls. The house is located next to dormitories for a university that must have a student population that’s about 50% South Asian; therefore, the onslaught of sunshine has meant cricket games almost every day and a constant stream of wayward equipment landing in our yard. One of the players recently decided to bypass ringing our doorbell and asking us to find the lost ball, and simply hopped the wall and wandered around our yard looking for it himself. Farrell chased him off and gave a whole group of them a rabid string of curse words.
– There’s a small camp of homeless people that have pitched a tent between the outer walls of our property and the dormitories. They’re mostly harmless except when they start fires with pieces of old tires and plastic bottles.
– There could be some sort of potentially shady business deals going on in the building next to ours; several times I’ve seen a few super shiny, black BMWs parked outside near a group of very dapper-looking older gentlemen, playing Frank Sinatra or similar music from their car radios. My employee once told me she thinks a well-known politician’s office is nearby.
I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I will never live in a place this nice and I’m making it a priority to enjoy it as much as I can. So we host garden parties, have friends over for barbecue cooked in our outdoor kitchen, hang out in the sauna on Friday nights, enjoy our morning coffee in the breakfast nook (it gets great morning light), eat our lunch outside and track the daily process of the various blossoms in the orchard and the vegetable garden that Farrell is working on. Despite the quirks, I couldn’t be happier with life right now.
Garden parties?! I’m so envious!! One thing I do miss here in Seoul is house parties….we’ve all hosted parties or get-togethers in our tiny shoebox apartments, but it just isn’t the same!
I know the feeling! My apartment in DC was suuuuper tiny, and so was my last apartment here. Luckily I know enough people here with awesome housing allowances, there’s always enough space for a party, but the garden was really the missing piece.
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