I just had real coffee! From a drip coffee maker — not a French press, not instant, but real drip coffee! And Gabe just had a shower — a real shower, not an elaborate sponge bath! And we heated up our leftovers last night — without waiting ten minutes for the stove to heat up!

Yes that’s right — yesterday was a very ambitious day, one that served to increase the comfort level of our flat by about tenfold. We finally hit on the right store for moderately priced appliances, and Gabe had a stroke of genius in convincing our landlord that we’d all be better served by buying slightly more expensive stuff, splitting the cost, then leaving it here when we’re done. So we at last got a coffee pot, a microwave, a toaster, and a new kettle to boot (one that actually has automatic shutoff, a feature the grocery store cheapie we bought when we arrived did not have.) Plus they are all slightly nicer than what we would’ve sprung for ourselves, which is an unexpected bonus.

The hilarious part came when we transported all this home on the Metro: me with a huge bag full of the smaller goods, and Gabe with the large microwave box on his shoulder. I don’t know what people must have made of the two crazy Americans buying large kitchen appliances. Can’t they find a hotel that serves food???

We arrived home, mostly without incident and full of anticipation, both to equip our kitchen at last and also to see the newly installed shower stall. We put down our bags and boxes and went straight into the bathroom to find — holy of holies — a beautiful, tall, solid shower stall. Hooray!

Soon however, I spotted a note that had fallen on the floor. It said, in capital letters, “YOU CAN’T USE THE SHOWER FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS. THANK YOU.” Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Cruelest irony of all! We’ve been waiting for a week to take a proper shower, and now you tell us we have to wait 24 hours for the silicone to dry??? Hell no!!!!

Gabe made the executive decision that 12 would be more than enough, and sure thing, the seals were dry this morning. Oh blissful shower, here I come! Having grown up in drought-ridden California, I’m not usually one to take a long shower, but I might have to make an exception today. I can hardly wait.

We didn’t rest on our laurels for long though, as we wanted to hit up one other household store we’d heard about before it closed. So out and down the hill we went, again, and discovered a store full of very nice, inexpensive, tasteful things with which to decorate our flat. We didn’t have time to really do it justice, but will be returning this weekend to provide our home with some color and comfort. First the necessities… now the fun stuff.

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