Thursday, September 16, 2010
My New New New New Apartment
As in, apartment number four. I like this one. I really do. I did not like apartment 1 or apartment number 3, but 4 is a legit place to live. It is my first apartment in the center of the city. It is has one room, one kitchen, one bathroom, hot water, a fridge, and a balcony. All of these things actually work (so far). I've been living in my new place for approx. one week and it has been soothing for the soul (brain/mentality, etc). Around the same time I found my new place the weather cooled down remarkably and not a moment too soon. I was starting to go nuts in the heat. But, it appears that fall is finally upon us in Mingechevir.
I guess if you are following my blog but you are not talking to me personally, some explanation is needed. I lost my previous housing (not because I did not something wrong, but because of being duped) a couple of months ago. I did not find new housing until recently and, as a result, nearly got booted from Peace Corps altogether. I'm not going to get into the details (I don't think I'm permitted to get into the details anyways), but it made for a really horrific month or so of service.
As a consequence of my homelessness, I lived with my sitemate for nearly a month. It was very kind of her to let me in. However, living there was a little rough. She was out of town for a majority of the time, but while I lived there her gas was shut off (limited cooking options) and it was really really hot. Also, I was in the midst of training teachers in regards to my grant and had to work double time to find a new apartment. Finding a place to live Azerbaijan can be a crappy experience. Women, generally, never live alone and do not go into real estate offices alone. I did. Everyday. And i was treated like an oddity because in Azerbaijan what I was doing was, indeed, odd.
You might ask why Peace Corps did not help me find a place. Plainly: The are not required to. The only thing PC is required to do is find me housing with a host family. In other words, if I want to live alone, well then, that is my choice and I have to accept the consequences that go along with it.
Why don't I live with a host family? Well, coming into PC I always knew that living with a host family (ANY host family) would quite possibly be my biggest challenge. I'm 28 and I've lived independently from my parents for a decade. I'm not used to overseers worrying about me and asking me when I'll do everything I do. But most importantly, I don't like people worrying about my whereabouts and schedule. People worrying about me worries me...increases my overall anxiety. I then become the person they want me to be and lose my sense of individuality. My host family was fantastic but they were confused every time I went running at a different time, or didn't want lunch at the exact same time everyday, etc. I guess, with two months left in my service I just wasn't willing to go back to that. Also, I'm engaged. I'm engaged to someone who lives 8 hours away by bus. It is difficult being in a long distance relationship where communications are rough in general. Texting is very expensive and internet is unreliable. I want to live somewhere in which my fiancee can visit me once a month. So, these feelings and desires preventing me from taking the practical route of just living with a family. Maybe this seems crazy or immature to others, but I know my self and my need for independence and therefore, I do not regret living alone and accepting the extra work that goes along with it.
ANYWAYS...some pics of my new place...