Peace Corps / Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Today, I was embarrassed.

I live alone in my apartment. My school found the apartment for me. The woman who owns it is either a friend of the vice-principal or a friend of a friend of the vice-principal. She is also living in Moscow while I’m living in her apartment. I don’t know the reason, though.

In Ukraine, this is a great setup. A lot of PCVs have problems with landlords and landladies dropping by unannounced. Coming from a society where this is unheard of, and against leasing laws in most areas, it’s hard for us to get used to. What’s harder to get used to are the expectations that the landlords/ladies have of you. Since their view is that the apartment is theirs still, you should keep up to their cleanliness standards. To an extent, this makes sense to me.

Since my landlady is in Moscow, I don’t have to worry about this and messes that should be cleaned up daily sometimes go for a week before I get to them. This is what caused my¬†embarrassment today. My landlady dropped by, unannounced. She needed to get a key she had left. My things were strewn everywhere, including wrappers from American candy on the floor.

All I could manage was, “I’m sorry¬†(in Russian), for the mess (in English).”

I guess it’s time for me to clean my apartment. Tomorrow.

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