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The views expressed here are the author's. They do not reflect those of CUSO International.
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Saturday, 18 October 2014

My Apartment

My apartment

Looking out the back door

I have spent my first night in my apartment.  The place is a 3-bedroom 7th floor apartment. It has many of the conveniences of home, including a fridge, a washing machine, an iron and an ironing board, a 2-burner butane stove, and a small sink.  No internet, except via my new phone, which cuts out more often than not.

The water situation is a bit more iffy.  Cold water only, which is hardly an issue in temperatures that vary between 25 C early in the morning and 33/35 C during the day.  The system is semi-automatic There is a small cistern to store water and provide water pressure.  Then there is a pump that fills the cistern, but overfilling the cistern leads to flooding in the kitchen.  Turning on the pump requires  a keen ear for gurgling sounds in the kitchen and rapid response with the pump switch.

The building  has an elevator, which is giving me some anxiety in view of frequent power outages. Getting stuck in a small elevator in 35C heat is not my idea of fun.  I think I'll climb the stairs more often than not.

My room is tiny, barely larger than the queen-sized bed.  But it has an air-conditioner, which makes the nights comfortable.  Again some anxiety about the power cutting out, but so far so good.  All in all, my living quarters are of a much higher quality than expected.

Unexpected is the noise of the neighbourhood.  I spent most of the night listening to honking cares and howling dogs. The taxi noise dies out after, say, one in the morning.  But there are always one or two dogs yapping and periodically there must be fifty that howl in unison. My room mate Floristan speaks of a recent religious festival at a pagoda across the street from us that included mighty drumming till after midnight. It will take some getting used.  Plus earplugs, which miraculously appeared in my travel bag. I think a left over from a flight in northern Manitoba where they were issued instead of inflight beverages.

Also unexpected is the view from my kitchen window:  Shwedagon Pagoda


  1. Hello Maarten. It sounds like you are relatively comfortable in your accommodation. I hope you have some good reading material for those evenings without internet and when you are kept awake by noises outside. Looking forward to hearing more about this initial adjustment phase. Keep well.

  2. Thanks for adding photos to your post - helps add to the sense of Place!

  3. Wow! What a view, I love the Shwedagon.

    Sounds like you are wise to skip the lift and have our full sympathy for the non-stop urban noise and assorted animal cacophony.
    The plumbing arrangements remind me of Jacque Tati-esque set up.

    We missed you last Thursday we all dined with Victoria and enjoyed a delicious and delightful evening.

    Looking forward to reading more adventures

    Love from London