Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Under the Tbilisi Sun

I fear I might have made a mistake.

As I have said before, after too many rounds in the ring with my conniving landlady, I decided to move to a new apartment. The charmingly run-down place in the old heart of the old city. I knew it wouldn't be quite as comfortable as the renovated, modern place I was leaving behind, but it was sweet and well-located and it's so hard to find a place in the old town; I thought I was pretty lucky.

Here's the scorecard so far.

Con: The internet providers laughed when I asked if I could hook up DSL in my "new" neighborhood.
Pro: I'll be reading a lot more instead of screwing around on the internets.

Pro: There is a safely ventilated gas heater!
Con: It can't quite battle the drafts from the crooked wooden windows. It's pretty cold inside.

Con: The kitchen is so cold, I have to shut the doors to contain the temperature and cut it off from the rest of the house.
Pro: I thriftily save energy by unplugging the refrigerator and just keeping the milk and butter on the kitchen table.

Con: The "bathroom" has a gas water heater that requires 3 levers, a wrench, a match, two faucets, and a mechanical engineering degree to activate before you can get hot water.
Pro: You don't actually have to do this, because the gas is too weak to heat up any water.

Con: You don't have ANY HOT WATER.
Pro: You go to the gym a lot more often because you can shower there. Will be fit and trim by bikini season.

Pro: If you ask, your new landlady (who is sweet as pie), lets you shower at her place, next door.
Con: This nets you a luxurious 2 minutes of hot water before you jump out hopping with cold and still sudsy.

I was a little depressed about it yesterday, and I tried to think of something that would make me laugh about it. The cold water isn't funny yet. I think the funny thing is this: I completely knew this would happen, and I moved here anyway. I knew that I was playing the part of the foolish naif renting an old apartment with romantic ideas of quaint, rustic charm, only to find that the reality is far less dreamy and not very charming at all. I knew this, and as if impelled by forces of destiny, I moved anyway. It's like I'm trapped in a third-rate screenplay and am powerless to resist. Except I think the story is supposed to end with the girl conquering her new surroundings and totally rocking the hard-knock life with grace and tough-as-nails resolve (all the while looking fetching and fresh despite lack of showers), whereas I'm probably just going to move away in another month or so.


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