Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We moved!

by Kara

The woman who owned the apartment we were living in, who also happens to be Mark's coworker/translator, decided she wanted to sell the apartment -- a long time ago. After months of knowing we might have to move she found a buyer -- Mark's other coworker! However, first, our coworkers had to find us a new apartment. This process turned out to be, well, quite a process. First, the people who bought the apartment wanted to move in on Saturday, September 25 (which was only a few days after they officially bought the apartment) because it is a good day in Mongolia. It being a "good day" means it's lucky for things like hair-cutting ceremonies (see last post), weddings, and moving. It's not that if you move on a bad day people think they're likely to have the truck break down on that very day, but maybe if something bad happens in general, following the event, the fact that you moved on a bad day could be blamed. Anyway, they wanted to move that day but alas, we had nowhere to live. Sorry new homeowners.

Actually, it appeared they found us an apt pretty quickly. I got my hopes up about this new place because it had a fridge. (And a full-size oven AND a hot shower! -- hello Posh Corps!) But then when the owner found out we couldn't sign a 12-month lease she pulled out and the search continued. We thought we had another - alas, it fell through. Another two were visited. They wouldn't work. Finally, we found one! And to sweeten the deal the owner said she'd leave the fridge there. I let my hopes get up again for this promised fridge.

When moving day came along the whole deal almost fell through again but somehow, Mark's coworkers managed to keep it all together. Unfortunately, the owner decided at the last minute to take her fridge with her. I'm over it now, but I was pretty sad for about 10 minutes.

Moving itself went surprisingly smooth! We had seven of my coworkers and one of our sitemates there to help. But Mark and I were amazed at how much stuff we've collected over the past year. A major part of it is due to the fact that we're currently holding all of the things passed down from volunteer to volunteer, so we have tons of books and DVDs. Plus, if there's ever a natural disaster, we have to be the keepers of extra blankets, a kerosene stove, flashlights, candles, etc. Plus, we hoard food like you wouldn't believe. (If you see something you want here in town you buy all of it immediately, as it may never appear again.) Seriously though, I can't believe how much stuff we have.

Despite all of this, we loaded up my coworker's truck with all our belongings and furniture in 45 minutes and - get ready to be impressed - we unloaded it into our new 3rd floor apartment in 23 minutes flat.

We unpacked it all into our new, small apartment over the weekend and we're pretty much settled in now. Our new apartment is kind of similar to our old one but with a few differences. This one is only a one-room apt, with a separate kitchen and bathroom. Actually, there's a little toilet room and a separate shower room. The shower is way nicer than our older one (we're sooooo happy to have a hot shower again) except that we realized it leaks if you're not careful. Our second day in our new apartment included being yelled at (I'm not exaggerating) by the neighbor who lives below us because it leaked into her apartment. Fun. Anyway, our new apartment also has a bigger kitchen and appears to be warmer than our previous apt, which is going to be awesome in the winter. Overall, it's going to work just fine for the next 10 months or so. (Though I'm still terrified to take a shower and face the wrath of the scary neighbor again.)

The mess of stuff ready to be moved out in our old apartment.
All of our worldly possessions in this country precariously perched  on my coworker's truck.


Deirdre said...

What a great picture of the move! This is such a crack up and so Mongolia! Hope you like your new place.

akmonki said...

wow, wouldn't want to leave behind any of that high-quality furniture piled into that truck there!? Is that mark I see sitting on top, holding stuff on?
And where's the new Mongol apartment moving-in video part duo??
Anyways, good luck with the new digs. And I hope you figure out the shower & fridge situations soon, those are the important things in life!