You writers out there know that I mention the tchotchkes simply because I love the word tchotchkes. The real point is that our apartment is a quirky, homey little place with unbelievably low rent. But it is definitely nice by Kosovar standards (and by my standards too, but what do I know, I lived in a tent in the desert). We have 24-hour running water and electricity, which is a complete miracle (thanks for praying, folks!). And our landlord is this large, loud, super-friendly Albanian guy who is always trying to communicate with us in a variety of charades and languages. Sam and he have discovered that they can best understand one another in German. Ramadan and I, however, mostly talk in charades, which I find amusing and actually very helpful. During our week-long fiasco with the internet company (who kept putting us off), I would simply hand him our contract and make a telephone with my hand and he would get the idea that I needed him to yell at them in Albanian. It was wonderful. I made him cookies.
After living out of suitcases for almost a month after the wedding, it feels great to have a home of our own. Even if our bedspread is covered in garish roses and my only mixing bowl is held together by duck tape, they're OURS. We LIVE here. I can buy flour and sugar in bulk because we're not leaving! For someone who is usually here there and everywhere in the span of a few months, this seems completely foreign and simultaneously awesome. I'm already chattering to Sam about all the great dinner parties we could have—"comfort food night," complete with mac n cheese and PB & J cookies! make-your-own pizza night, everyone bring a topping! cake and more cake because Liz has an oven! He nods and smiles like the good, sweet husband he is.
Besides indulging my kitchen fancies, Sam has also been picking my brain about what to do for his Freshman English class, which I love. He's decided to do Poetry Fridays (bless his heart), so I've been talking him through (read: gushing about) Li-Young Lee and Rita Dove and Tennyson. We've also been reading The Great Gatsby out loud together. As I sit on our big brown couch, listening to Sam read in his sparkling "New York in the roaring 20s" accent, I have no doubts whatsoever that I have indeed married the perfect man. Guess I'm just a lucky woman.
Okay here's a few more pictures of our flat before I start getting mushy.
(But love to you all, as usual.)
Elizabeth and Sam