This is a picture of my ‘living room’ which is actually a combination kitchen you can see at the end. The little 2-burner ‘easy bake oven’ is what I cook with and the sink is off to the right. It’s about 1/4 of the size of my sink in FL. The door to the hallway is open, but remember–there’s no central heat in these homes, so the door is generally closed. My main heater is to the left in the kitchen. Notice the cast iron stove–most Macedonians would use that to heat the room, but the Peace Corps says it’s a safety risk, so I’m not supposed to use it. The ‘downstairs’ is unfinished and is basically used as a walk-through to the apartment used by my landlady’s in-laws. They’re in their 80s and just as cute as they can be. My bedroom is by the window you see at the top of the steps. But like most homes in my experience in Europe, it’s got roll-down shutters controlled from the inside. The bedroom is small, but the bed is big. Right now I’m sleeping on what is basically rough terry cloth–which is fine because I’m also sleeping in more clothes that I ever did in Florida–except when you put your face down on the pillow. (Don’t move around too much!) But I’m told a set of sheets is on the way, and that makes me happy! A small bathroom completes my apartment–I’ll take pictures and post them at a later date.
An interesting fact of Macedonian life is that all sofas and chairs convert into beds (including mine). In the winter for instance it may be too cold to go sleep in my bedroom, so you just fold down the couch and sleep in the ‘warm room’. In fact it’s pretty typical for the whole family to sleep together in the ‘warm room’. Now it makes more sense to me that my host mom in Kratovo slept in the living room. Here’s to cozy living.