Monday, July 6, 2009

Underwear, on our chair

My name is on the post box. Maybe no coincidence that that is the moment when I start to think about what I will miss and what I will have for the next couple of years. There is no air conditioning, not even a fan. Though the temperatures haven't risen above 77 degrees Fahrenheit, it is hot and muggy, uncomfortable for sleeping. They say it will get hotter. There is no Taco Bell, no Noodles and Company. No car for massive trips to the grocery store or Costco. So each day, we will shop at the corner store, or make the trip further up the hill, to the slightly larger grocery store, and buy what we need for that day. No 300-packs of toilet paper (too much to carry back to our apartment, and besides, there is no place to put it-- we would have to sleep on it). No air conditioning or fans means that we will leave the windows open during the night-- fresh air, Italian/German/French/English voices and traffic spilling in through the window. We are more connected to the life outside our walls, closer to the noises, the smells, the time when the vegetables have been picked for our consumption. The fruit and vegetables are fresher here, even exquisite in taste, each raspberry is a small wisp of pleasure. There are some conveniences here-- the tram stops just up the hill from our apartment and takes me a few blocks from work. But mostly, life is much less convenient. No cached food and goods; no parking directly at the door of the store, no loading of large quantities into a car, slipping into the security of a garage then into the house. And in our apartment, laundry means a trip to the cellar, then hanging our clothes in a common room, on a line, for two days until they dry. For our modest sensibility, we can't bear to leave our bras and underwear down there, in the common area, For two days. So we will live here for a while, Underwear, on our chair.

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