February-June 2001; Charlotte, NC; $500 a month. (I'm including the prices. That might be too much info, but the trend of bigger and cheaper is fun to follow.) We rented the upstairs of a garage, just a few blocks from Will's parents. The apartment was tiny, and it had lots of character. I remember standing there and noticing that the floor leaned one way, the window sill another, the counter yet another, and the angle of the ceiling didn't match any of the others. It swayed in the wind of a strong storm. We could look down on the tiny patch of yard of the duplex behind us and watch their one pet chicken. . . right in the middle of Charlotte!
September 2001-February 2004; Moscow; $300. This apartment was a two-room* in very bad condition. It was on the sixth floor of a nine-story building. Before we lived there, it had been used as some kind of office and workshop. We had no money to fix it up, so we did a lot of creative covering and rigging things. Furniture was a strange mix of the office stuff left there, what Will found in the trash and even a loveseat that he built himself. It was a great place to live! Jaan was born there.
|Our Moscow apartment building|
February 2004-May 2007; Kovrov; whatever the landlord could squeeze out of us! (I can't remember what we were officially supposed to be paying him. I'll have to ask Will. It did change often.) This was my favorite apartment, even though it was packed with clutter and the roof leaked. It was also two rooms, but the layout was really great. The kitchen was big, and it just felt big overall. This apartment is where Raia was born. When the landlord got tired of FSB bothering him about us, and we also couldn't take his daughter, we had to move out.
May 2007-February 2008; Kovrov; 2000 rubles? When we had to move, our neighbors found us a place on the first floor of the same building. It was smaller, and we didn't really get to make it feel like home, but it was nice. And Asya was born there.
May 2008-April 2010; Dneprorudnoe; 1000 hrivni (that's $126 at the moment) + utilities. Three rooms for the first time! Although the size was about the same as my favorite apartment, it's been nice to have separate rooms. We've done a lot to make this apartment feel like home, and our friends the Sullivans really worked hard to make it look nice! Now our landlady's son wants to live here, so we have to move on.
April 2010-?; Dneprorudnoe; 1200 hrivni, utilities included. Four rooms! Details will have to come later, though. There's a map below that shows both our old (blue dot) and new (yellow dot) buildings....
*In Russian we say the number of rooms, not just bedrooms like in English. So, a Russian two-room is like an American one-bedroom. I'm using the Russian way here.
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