23 September 2011

Trading Problems

Any time you move you know you’re trading one set of difficulties (and good things) for another set.  This is especially true in Kyrgyzstan.  I knew when we left Tokmok that I’d largely be leaving the water problems behind, but I knew some other things would take their place.

But so far we’ve been pretty lucky.  The biggest problem in the new apartment is that many of the outlets don’t work.  Outlets are always a problem in places built before people needed to plug in much stuff, no matter where you are in the world, but I’ve never lived in a older home in the US that hasn’t been remodeled.  The outlets in Tokmok were actually pretty good; only one set didn’t work and they weren’t important.  It was interesting having one socket in the bathroom which was shared between the washing machine and water heater (and any other electrical item you might normally use in a bathroom), but I never had a reason so complain about them.

At least half the outlets here don’t work or the appliance cords don’t reach an outlet.  The microwave and the fan over the stove share an power strip which would be fine, except they are 2 meters from each other so they can’t be going at the same time.  Not a big deal.  The A/C cord can’t reach anything either and there is an elaborate set of cords and power strips from the one functioning outlet on one half of the house.  So much for the fire safety merit badge.

But the outlet annoyances are nothing compared to the water annoyances in Tokmok, and I really can’t think of any other inconveniences here.  It’s quiet (for Bishkek- the traffic noise will never stop), the windows work well, the neighbors are nice, the building is reasonable, the stores are nearby, and the water is usually on.  Even when it turns off for the day, it’s not a big deal, because it always comes back.

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