I spot something dark under the kitchen table and I hesitantly creep up to investigate. It’s the largest cockroach I have ever seen. It is even larger than the inch long dead one that I had thrown out earlier this morning and this one is flipped over on it’s back. I nuke the crap out of it with some raid and leave it to die. All this is accomplished with nary a peep. This is my first apartment and I LOVE IT even if it has a few uninvited guests.

I live in a pre-Stalin era apartment. It has ridiculously high (13ft+) ceilings that slope in and old wooden herringbone parquet floors. The kitchen cabinets are falling apart but there is a gorgeous window that opens up to an enclosed balcony entangled in vines. I have claimed the living room which also has a balcony that overlooks a densely forested courtyard. One thing that I LOVE about Kiev is the amount of greenery that decorates the city. You can find pockets of grass and trees EVERYWHERE. You walk down an alleyway and suddenly you’re in a secret forest. It’s almost like the overgrown ruins of some ancient Hayao Miyazaki city.

Not only do I love my apartment for its old world charm but it’s also one block over from Khreshchatyk, the central road of Kiev. Every weekend they block the road to prevent cars from entering and you can find all manner of stalls and entertainers there. I can even hear the concerts from my balcony.

The landlord has promised a renovated kitchen so it’s pretty much non-functioning at the moment but I’m happy as a clam snuggled up on my sofa bed with a slice of pumpernickel smeared in some sort of meat paste that I spread using my hot pink tactical survival knife. I refuse to buy more stuff for the kitchen until renovations are complete so I’m making do. Who knew my bamf-ing survival knife was also good for the urban jungle?

View of the blacony

Edit: So I’ve been told that my apartment is actually much older than Stalin-era. It’s actually well over 100 years old. Teaches me to listen to my students



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