I managed to locate an apartment without a washing machine. So, just as I did back in Estonia from 96-99, I am doing laundry by hand. At least, it doesn’t freeze here. In Tallinn, in winter, my apartment was full of clothes drying all winter. If you left them on the balcony, they froze into flat gumby like shapes. Here, though, it has been so damp that nothing is drying.
On Friday, the sun come out for a few hours, but so did the wind. I put my drying rack outside, and within a few minutes, it fell over. I need to get some weights or rocks or rope to tie the rack to the railing. Unlike people living in a tower block apartment, I don’t have a balcony, just rose bushes. I don’t have a clothesline, just a drying rack. I still like my apartment,nestled against the foothills but I still wish for a washing machine or balcony.
Digression. I am in a small university town. So, when I arrived, nearly all the good apartments had been rented. There are just two real estate agents here. And I was told to use them, because ownership of an apartment can be iffy here. I do think I was lucky to find this apartment, on the eastern ( Bosniak) side of the river. It is spacious with an amazing beautiful bathroom, well off a busy street. You would need to look hard to find it. Of course, this place has been renovated. I know because on one side, there is a wild overgrown crater where a house once stood, and on the other side, a war damaged building. At the end of the street is another completely destroyed building, which is being renovated. Not much is left, and I am not sure why they don’t demolish it.
Perhaps not a digression. Architecture is the expression of human life, good, bad, indifferent. The landscape has a memory. And if that memory is visible, it gives off its images in waves. If they bury it all, as they are doing in Estonia, then what happens to the memory. So, you can wander Mostar from end to end, and find beautiful well kept houses, or war ruins, or broken shop windows, or overgrown monuments, or expensive shopping malls. And yet, these human live inside a valley sheltered by towering mountains. The trivial scurrying we do seems unimportant. Just climb up to a peak and all you see are mountains rolling on. Or drive up the road to Sarajevo. At points, the mountains crash into the river, with the thin road, a mere river bank, running between rocky mountains.
This is a long way from writing about laundry. But the way we live our lives in the states makes me wonder. We have so much. We have so many luxuries, and yet what do we do with the time saved? Living here has made me focus on solving one problem at a time. You can’t run around multitasking as we do in the states. Solving any issue takes your focus. Then you get a coffee and prepare for a new challenge.