Our new home

Our new apartment is a mixture of really awesome and really not awesome, as one might expect from a relatively high-end residence in a developing country. Basically, it looks really gorgeous and is very spacious but many aspects are designed or constructed very poorly. We have about triple the space we had in Virginia. We've also had about triple the maintenance issues in three weeks here than we had in our whole year in Arlington.

I won't dwell on things too much, but so far we've had two leaks (one fairly major that resulted in large portion of the floor or our apartment being covered in water), a broken cabinet, a broken dryer, and a water faucet handle that detached, among other things. We're slowly getting these issues taken care of (the Embassy maintenance guys are very responsive) and are making our house into a home (blech). We just had our living room, dining room, and master bedroom repainted (sterile white walls combined with exclusively fluorescent lighting does not make for a cozy feeling). We also repainted our kitchen cabinets - alternating bright pink and teal was not as appealing to us as it seems to have been to the previous tenant. Of course, all those cabinets might need to be replaced because of water damage, but that's a question for another day (tomorrow in fact).

Unfortunately, posting pictures of an Embassy-maintained and -secured residence on a publicly accessible website is something even I'm not stupid enough to do, so most of you will have to use your imagination.

I'll gather a few more musings on the apartment and amenities here.

The internet (after finally getting it set up) is better than I'd feared and worse than I'd hoped. Bandwidth is tolerable for most general internet browsing. Streaming and downloading large files is not so great. Gaming varies from completely fine to completely unplayable, depending on the importance of ping.

Our washer and dryer and both kind of bizarre. Instead of having a couple dials that independently control temperature, agitation, etc. you have a single dial with like 40 different settings. A bit overwhelming, and I'll have to consult the manuals every time I do laundry for months to come.

Hot water is plentiful. Water cooler than lukewarm is pretty much nonexistent. Unsurprisingly, tap water is not safe to drink. We have a distiller in the kitchen, though, so it's not too much of an inconvenience.

Air quality here (in terms of pollution and dust or humidity, depending on the time of year) is relatively poor. To combat this, our apartment is fitted with four dehumidifiers and four air purifiers. Each dehumidifier pulls about two gallons of water out of the air each day (the Embassy recommendation is to run them 24/7 to avoid mold and, since they're footing the bill, I am happy to oblige).

Our furniture is almost universally a roughly pea soup shade of yellow-green. Apparently there's a tailor that can whip up new upholstery pretty cheaply and quickly, so we'll definitely be availing ourselves of his services soon.

I'll probably post other musings on the quirks (or massive disasters) that affect our place, but for now things are more or less in order.