Monday, June 9, 2008

Our Bishkek Apartment

On Friday we left Bishkek for the weekend to do a hike with a local outdoor club. We decided to come back for one more day to upload some photos, pick up our Tajikistan Visa, and rest before going into the mountains.

The door to our apartment

We decided to talk to the landlady to see if we could get our apartment again. Of course we spoke no Russian, and she no English, so it took a while to communicate that we were leaving in the afternoon the next day but wanted to come back on Sunday. She asked us to pay a bit extra for leaving in the afternoon instead of the morning. She also wanted to know what time we'd show up, presumably because she had the key and had to be home to meet us. After a while we got it all sorted out, and off we went for our hike.

I'll digress quickly and say that the apartment is very clean, but quite rundown. There is no hot water, but apparently that is the case over all of Bishkek. Aparently the Soviets decided to put in a central hot water system for the entire city. Unfortunately it doesn't work well and they whole thing goes down for maintenance about one month a year. In our case though, the cold water also shut off. For a while we had a dribble and were able to fill a bucket in about 5 minutes, but today it stopped completely. Now we have to go down to the landlady two floors below to fill a bucket if we want to bathe or flush the toilet.

Lara in the Kitchen

Anyway, back to the story.

We got back from the hike a little early so we decided to take a chance and we showed up on her doorstep at 3:00. She was surprised to see us and told us that the apartment was in use until 5:00. Weird. What sort of place gets used by the hour?

Suddenly the light went on. Our apartment is normally used by prostitutes. Now the Vodka in the fridge made sense.

Not one to miss and oportunity I was able to save a few dollars by renting the apartment for 40 hours instead of 2 days.

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