We moved into our apartment today, but we’ll be staying in the hotel a couple more days because the apartment isn’t quite finished yet. There’s no plumbing in the kitchen sink and nothing at all in the bathroom besides the floor tile which was just installed today.

Nonetheless, the apartment is quite nice (with a few oddities). I really like my bedroom with its huge window that goes all the way to the floor. The fitness center is ridiculously extravagant. The location is perfect — on a wide street that has an esplanade down the middle, right next to a public garden, around the corner from a metro stop, and near stores, cafes, and foreign consulates.

It was great to see all my stuff that has been in transit for a month and a half, particularly my wool coat and pink scarf/hat/mittens. I unpacked as much as I could, and it instantly felt like home.

Aunt Kelly had some furniture for me, but I was lacking a chest of drawers, so this led to the most exciting event of an exciting day — the trip to IKEA. It was a long ride through the industrial Soviet outskirts, but once inside, it was as cozy and familiar as every IKEA around the world (well, except for the Cyrillic lettering). Yes, all your favorite products are there, from Benno to Lack to Magicker. We got a dresser and picked up a catalog, since we’re going to need a few cabinets — our kitchen storage is small, and Aunt Kelly seems to have a large number of dishes. Her kitchen table only seats four, so it’s not like we need dinner service for 20!

Oh, I didn’t mention that the day started out with a blackout. The second I’ve experienced since I’ve been here, the first being in a cafe my first night here. We’ll be stocking up on those cheap IKEA candles.

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