Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cusp of a decision

Poor Alla. She spent the greater part of her two days in Minsk trying to find an apartment for me to rent. The cheap ones were not enough better than the dorm to be interesting, the nicest ones were out of sight, and the moderate ones were all rented. She made a LOT of phone calls and left me with an arrangement intended to begin on Monday.

I can rent a Euro-style one-room apartment in a nice building adjacent to the new ultra-fancy Hotel Europe, which has WiFi that may even spill out as far as the apartment. This place is close to the subway leading to the University and it’s almost next door to the Palace of the Republic and other central concert venues. It comes with cleaning service and it has a washing machine. The price is affordable and I like the landlord.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? The only problem is that I really like the dormitory too. My roommate is a cheerful and outgoing guy who knows enough Russian to help me, the location is reasonably convenient, and it’s filled with fellow students who have time for each other. A group of Turks shares our bathroom, though I’ve only seen one of them so far. He invited me in for tea on the evening when I arrived, but I declined because Paolo was already asleep. Last night he stopped me in the hall and assured me that I was always welcome in their little enclave. The Koreans are just as open. As for facilities, we have a pretty decent weight room right here in the building, a library on each floor, and maid service in the common areas.

The Turks were a bit noisy night before last. Perhaps it was they who had taken Paolo out for the drinks that led him to an early bedtime. Last night, however, the dorm was nearly silent, at least as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see what Saturday night brings. I’ll be the one coming home late, as I’m off to the ballet.

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