Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Broken Beds of Moscow

I sleep on a pull out couch, half of which slants towards the floor due to lack of support and, probably, age. If I mistakenly roll over that way and don't end up on the floor, the bed creaks loudly enough to wake the entire hall. This is a significant upgrade from the actual bed that I slept in when I lived in South Moscow. There, I slept on a shell of a frame; It looked good at first glance, until you lifted the mattress and realized that it was balanced on only three planks. It looked much like a poorly constructed IKEA bed, with the remaining, necessary planks long since discarded.

I've asked around, and it turns out that sleeping on something that can barely be called a bed is quite normal here, and I should be happy that mine still has legs on it.

I received a promotion, which is why I've been blogging less recently. With said promotion, there's really no reason I couldn't afford an IKEA bed (and put it together properly). However, I've gotten so used to my pull-out couch half-bed, and the functional half is comfortable and sturdy enough, that I can't bring myself to replace it. Still, I long just a little bit for the rock-hard, one-inch thick futon mattress I was given in Japan. All things considered, that thing was pretty sweet. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Home Away from Home

Every time I move to a new country, I make a point of frequenting a local shop or restaurant in the hopes of developing a sense of familiarity with the staff. It's sort of pathetic, but fills the void of not being surrounded by a large number of friends or any family at all. In Korea I found this with the Kimbap Lady. In Japan, I had a Dunkin' Donuts lady (Yes, this was the least Japanese venue I could possibly have made a point to frequent. They had a good breakfast deal). Here, I had Cell Phone Guy. Of course, my going to the cell phone shop to creep on teenagers every other day would have been weird for everybody, so have substituted this with always going to the same supermarket and cafe; I have a few favorite employees at each who smile when I come in. It's not much, but in a city where it's rare to catch a smile, it will do.