There is more to come on Tsagaan Sar, I promise. It’s been painstakingly written out in my journal by hand; I just have yet to transcribe it here. Tonight, I am here to complain about my apartment.
In the almost-seven months I have been here, my school/director have presented me with a number of items that have vastly improved my quality of life. Two weeks ago, it was a much-appreciated vacuum cleaner; before that, it was a toaster oven, a mattress, and a hot plate. Small as those might sound, all have vastly improved my quality of life.
If living in Mongolia teaches you one thing, it’s to appreciate the little things. Thanks to the aforementioned items, I can bake bread and clean my floor in a reasonable amount of time; I can actually cook my food now without burning it to a crisp, and I can sleep on my side without acquiring bruises on my hips and the insides of my knees. For this, I am grateful, and I am reluctant to ask my director for anything that isn’t strictly necessary.
But dear God, I would kill to have just one comfortable piece of furniture in my apartment.
I mean it. I have a mattress, but it’s only slightly more comfortable than the lightly-padded-board that preceded it. There is exactly one real chair on my apartment, and that’s my desk chair; anyone not in that chair has to sit on the bed, the one little stool we have, on the step in the kitchen, or on the floor. And while having ONE comfortable chair is pretty high on Maslow’s hierarchy, it still makes a difference. It would be one thing if had a library or cafe where I could go and sit comfortably. But I don’t. And you can only sit on the floor for so long before your hips and/or sitbones start to hurt something awful.