Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast – the weekly English show where we speak about everything under the sun. The major goal of this show is to help you improve your English and of course, learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host, and today with me…
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So please let us know how we can become even better and more interesting for you. Cause that’s what we want to do, right? We want to be interesting for our listeners. So and ladies, how have you been up?
It’s so hot! And your hair is so long! And you’re really hot I can guess.
Look what I do with my hair, just stick it to the side.
I would have to pull them up.
How do you deal with that? That’s true.
I don’t know. I remember…
Yeah. Sure, I just suffer.
I guess, I don’t know, probably,
You would look cute long pigtails up here.
I would look, I don’t know, pretty stupid I guess.
I don’t think so, I think you’ll look cute.
You can put like a bun on top.
Oh yeah definitely. All sorts of things.
Oh yeah I did sometimes, when it’s like really hot. I don’t know, I feel more comfortable with just free…
Have you ever had, you know, like braided hair? Especially, you know, around your head or to the side?
I don’t know, I think it would look weird on me.
I’ve never been able to do that to be honest. Cause you know, when I was a kid, my mom used to do that. And I could never… I admire girls who can actually, you know, braid their hair. Especially in those beautiful styles. Cause all I can do is a ponytail, like that’s all I can do. And not even with this hair length, I’m like no.
Oh not even a ponytail? Really? You can’t?
It’s like a mini ponytail then, not even a proper tail. Yeah do you have any plans for the summer? Now that it’s finally here.
Like, not much, not really. What about you Barbara?
Going to the zoo? To parks? To the beach?
Yeah, maybe. What about you?
I mean, I have a list of things I want to do. But I mean I’ve been to the zoo, so I went there I think a couple of weeks ago to look at the animals, they’re so nice. And I had an opportunity to go there during the week and not at the weekend, so there were no people.
Really, you know, no crowds, healthy social distancing, you know. Cause, again, not many people. So it was so nice to look at everyone, to look at all the animals. Especially the polar bears, I love them.
They must feel like really hot now.
Well I mean they have cold water and usually they have… I think like every 15 minutes you see ice just falling onto them, a huge pile of ice. So, yeah, they have plenty of ice. And they’re usually, you know, just jumping to the water, you know, doing all sorts of their bear things. So.
They have a funny shape, they have this kinda thick long neck like an ant-eater.
They’re just so big and beautiful. So yeah, I’ve been to the zoo, I’ve been trying to walk and work less. And I have even made, like a very serious and important decision of not having classes on Saturday and Sunday and having proper weekends, you know, to actually enjoy the summer. Feel proud of myself.
Yeah, look at me being not a workaholic at all.
Yeah and one of the things that I’ve started doing is I got this idea of… I got obsessed with this idea of reorganizing my wardrobe and my kitchen drawers and everything like that. So a couple of days ago I went to IKEA to buy all sorts of containers, things like that. I’m going to spend this weekend reorganizing everything.
Oh wow, sounds really cool actually.
Yeah, trying to make my apartment look cozier and more, you know, functional maybe, more convenient to work with. And cook and whatever.
So and actually I wanted to ask you about your place, so since we’re talking today about, you know, accommodation and housing. So what about a place where you’re living? Do you like it?
I love where I live. I love where I live because it’s a very efficient and very bug-free. Because I come from the South and I’ve… I’m embarrassed to say but I’ve had cockroach infestations. And that’s really… Oh yeah.
You mean in this apartment?
In the South, I mean I’m talking about in the United States.
So I’m used to living with bugs.
I remember, you know, those two times in my life when I saw a cockroach in the US and I could not believe that was a cockroach cause those are monstrous. Like, they are so big.
It depends on where you are. And in the South they’re huge and they fly.
And they’re every intelligent. One time I was sitting eating a peach and this little, this big cockroach came out, cause I set the peach down and he wanted it. And so I said no you can’t have it.
And he just took it and went away.
No he went under the wall where there is this crack, he turned around and waited. And I looked at him like you are smart. So I had to respect him, he was really smart.
So we’re talking about Georgia right now.
So let me just cross out Georgia out of my list of places…
Yeah, and they are flying cockroaches.
So I’ve already crossed out Texas out of my list because of the, you know, the heat and the snakes, so. And other fauna. So I guess Georgia goes on the same list.
Yeah when I came here I went where are all the bugs? You know, they’re…
You know what’s funny though? Do you remember Mike?
So when we… So Mike used to teach here, he’s from Australia, he used to teach here like last year and two years ago I think. So and he said that here, he used to live on the 16th floor and he said that one thing that he missed about Australia is having all the life, like you know, insects.
Oh yeah yeah yeah, I remember it.
And I’m like are you serious? And he’s like look my place is dead, there are no bugs, no cockroaches, no… like, nobody. I’m like say thank you. So I was so shocked about him saying that.
I thought… I thought I was gonna be weird if I said anything, so I didn’t say anything. But now that Mike said that, it is true. Because I had to save a little insect when insect did appear like last spring, sometimes.
Oh you still cherish this moment when this insect appeared?
And I fed the little thing, it was on his death bed, but I cared for him. … but it is when you are… When it is sterile, you do create, you crave some kind of life form.
No. I don’t, I don’t. I’m pretty satisfied having no bugs, nothing like that. I have the sparrows, you know, outside that I feed. And they’re adorable, but not the insects, thank you very much.
Maybe, I don’t know, some people consider them pets or something like that?
Oh yeah, have you ever looked at their faces under a microscope?
A mother can love. They’re incredible. Yeah, one time I was at my vet and she said do you wanna see the lice under the… Or no it was a tick… What was it? What do they get? Flea.
And I said no no no, and she was please, and so she made me. And I thought wow, that is incredible. And then I googled their faces. Google microscopic bug faces.
So they’re like cute? Are they fluffy?
Well they’re different, every single one is different.
Like human faces are different.
I mean our faces are different, and so are theirs.
Yeah. Sometimes they have something sticking out here and sometimes something there and different things. You gotta do it, you gotta do it.
So wait, what floor do you live on?
Oh, well, that explains a lot, that explains a lot. Cause if you lived, let’s say, on the 4th, the 3rd, the 5th maybe, you would have plenty of, plenty of things. Especially moths, you know. Things like that. You know, when you don’t have a net on your window and then in the evening, you have the lights on, oh, you have plenty of guests. Plenty. And then you just try to get rid of them and you can’t.
Oh god, I remember when I was living in Thailand, so I lived on the first floor and the apartment was like kind of, oh god, it was really… It was an old building and there were like, oh my god, I’d better not mentioned all the…
Did you have a lot of centipedes? You know the ones that have hundreds of legs which move way too fast?
Yes, exactly, exactly. But also I had, you know, a lot of different insects and I don’t even know how to call them in Russian, English, in any language, really. So also…
I would just call them the creatures. The umbrella term for all of them.
Yeah, a good term. Yeah and I had even rats there.
Oh. They can get big too. Have you ever seen really really big rats?
I mean in Thailand it’s a big problem because there are rats in the streets everywhere. I’m not sure why, but yeah.
There’s garbage and they need to live somewhere.
And they like the water too.
So Barbara you live on the 20th floor. Is it like a studio or a…
Yeah it’s a studio and so I have space to do a little bit of exercise. That’s what I like, I like a lot of space in at least one room. And then if I were to have anything I wanted, I would have another room. Really cozy, I love cozy. I love shelves with my knickknacks on them, books, something comfortable. Lace, lace curtains, I like lace curtains.
Natalie what about you? What kind of…
Yeah, now I’m kind of in transition because I’m gonna take the mortgage. Yeah.
You’re officially an adult!
That’s so weird, really. So yeah, I’ve decided to take it a studio too, but I don’t know, I’m choosing for now.
So what floor are you considering?
I don’t know. Because, like, I’ve always loved living on the first floor. So for example my parents, they have a house and I really love, you know, having a lawn and, I don’t know, some trees in the garden. You can actually like walk out, sit on the lawn under the sun, just enjoy it, you know. But I don’t know. So maybe…. But I also like living in the high, you know, somewhere on the 20th floor or something.
I’ve always been thinking about people living on the first floor. Cause you know, especially if that’s like an area where a lot of people are walking by. Cause a lot of people are tempted to kinda, you know, to peek, you know, into people’s places. I would feel very uncomfortable. You know, knowing that there are people walking around. I don’t know.
I mean, I feel like it’s something uncontrollable, and you’re just tempted.
But you never see anything though. When I peek I can’t see anything, even I peek and I stand there really observe, trying to find more.
I don’t know, I pass by some places and I know that if I were to look inside, if the curtains were not, you know, if there weren’t any curtains, I would see a lot of things, you know. I don’t know, I don’t know. So, yeah.
So when you say the mortgage, I was thinking of a house, but you’re talking about apartment.
I want an apartment, yeah, for now.
I don’t know. Maybe later it will be a house, but for now it’s just… Sorry, yeah.
I actually wanted to ask you then, so you’ve just said a condo, so what’s the difference between a condo and an apartment?
The difference is someone owns that one apartment and that person can live in it or rent it out. So I actually live in a condo. It means that someone else may own the building, but you own the apartment.
Yeah, so that’s… What about the apartment then?
Then if it’s just an apartment, then you’re renting it from a developed… a company that owns the building.
Oh. I thought it was the other way round.
So let’s say if you, you know, if there’s like separate block of flats that is owned by a company and you rent it, I thought that it’s a condo.
Right. No. If you’re renting it, you’re a renter, it’s an apartment.
So we just, let’s say, cause we’re used to calling… Like, if it’s an apartment, like, you know, it has like several rooms or something, so we would just call it an apartment as a place where we live. We’re just used to doing that.
We’re used to calling that an apartment and not a condo. And I’ve seen words like in Russian saying condo in a new building which is kinda like only apartments for rent.
Yeah, so that means that you can go in and buy it. Buy one apartment.
Yeah, but what if you buy… I am so confused.
If you buy an apartment, you can still be, you can have as many as you want, you just can’t buy the building, unless the building’s for sale.
Yeah, so that’s… God, see, that’s so confusing. Yeah, I just usually call everything an apartment.
Yeah, same. Yeah but actually in Thailand they used to call it condo too. So I don’t know maybe it was because of this explanation or they just didn’t know the term. I don’t know, really. Yeah but I used to live in this condo I guess? Now as we call it.
So and are you renting right now?
No, now actually. So I decided for summer to move back to my parents, because again as I’ve mentioned before, a lawn, all the steps, so. Big house, so it’s pretty kind of cute, you know.
Alright. And I, I’m gonna call it an apartment I guess for the sake of the listeners’ understanding too. Cause last year I used to rent a one room apartment, windows facing Krasny Prospekt, and 0 out of 10, do not recommend it.
Cause every day, unless it was winter, I heard vroom, all night long, god! I hated it! All the motorcyclists, you should sleep at night!
I’ve been in that situation too. I was living in a condominium about a quarter of the mile from the Pacific Ocean, so this was Hermosa beach. And I thought oh, I’m gonna be a beach baby. And so I rented this condo right on the Pacific Coast highway, we call it PCH. And it was so noisy!
I couldn’t last, I had to move out a few months.
Well I lasted almost a year actually. Even though the summer there was so horrible. It was so hot! You can imagine, it’s just one room. So you know, it’s the sunny side, so the sun is always there. So it heats up like an oven. So I had a fan on like constantly, almost 24/7. I was sleeping, you know, with a wet blanket on top of me. Or just something like a t-shirt. I would put it in cold water, put it on top of me.
Oh my mom used to way back, you know, in those days without air conditioning, she would put ice in a bucket and put that in front of a fan.
Oh yeah, I heard about it.
Oh I’ve never heard about that, wow.
The ice of course makes the air colder…
Yeah, so try that if you ever get that situation.
Well, luckily I moved out of that apartment and when my landlord asked me so why are you moving out if I may ask. I said look, I was offered an apartment, well, a condo to rent, for the same price, but it’s two rooms. It’s a living room and a bedroom. So I had a real bedroom and a real living room!
What a luxury! For the same price. And the funny thing is that it’s the building that I’m currently living in, it’s right across the road but with windows, you know, facing the yard. So all I see when I look out from, at least from the kitchen and the living room is trees. And I think, I think they kinda absorb the noises.
Oh definitely, definitely.
So that’s why that side is so quiet. There was one thing that I had to get used to, that my bedroom, basically that side is like 15 meters, 20 meters away from a railroad.
I love the train when it’s a passenger train. But the cargo trains, they make way too much noise. And you know, very often they use like the too-too and it’s so loud. And I’m like yeah what? During the night. I’m like okay, that’s a train. But it took me like two weeks to get used to that.
Now it’s okay. But you know, the… No motorcyclists. The quietness. And it’s cooler in here cause you know, only one side, so only the bedroom is on a sunny side. And you know, the sun is there in the morning. So…
So you’ve the eastern direction, facing east. Because what a really good direction to face is the south because you get the southern exposure. So you get a side angle of the sun rising and the side angle of the sun setting. The southern exposure. That’s the best. I always look for the southern exposure.
The Northern is too dark and gloomy and depressing and I can’t handle it. So I’m so happy that I’ve got I’m really facing the east. I’ve got the hot sun. But still, I like the brightness. And then, when the sun goes down in the west, it reflects on the buildings that are across the street.
So I get that too. Yeah, it’s bright and cheery, that’s what I need.
Yeah. I mean we have kind of a dark living room, but that’s for the better cause that’s where I work. And it makes a little bit cooler. Cause if that was hot, that would… It would be unbearable, really. Yeah. So wait, so what about types of accommodation? So we have an apartment and a condo, which are very confusing. So then we have a… What other types do we have?
A cottage. Which is, unlike in Russian, a small house. Cause in Russian it’s a big house. What else?
But then even smaller would be a bungalow. I’ve lived in it.
Yes, very small, bungalow. And then I’ve lived in a little structure… Some kind of structure above a car port in West Hollywood. And someone came to my little structure and they thought it looked like a storage bin so I started referring to my apartment as a storage bin.
And also I’ve lived in a single wide trailer for 5 years.
A trailer, definitely. And it was really good because it was a what we call a roommate plan. And that means that one bedroom is on one opposite side of the other. And so you have a lot of privacy. And I had my… Of course I was raising my daughter, so she got on one side, so she had a bedroom and her own bath. And on the opposite side I had my bedroom and bath. And in the middle was a living room.
Can you tell us more about it? So was it… Cause when I hear about trailers, I imagine something like a trailer park or something like that when there are like a lot of trailers.
There are such things as trailer parks. You’ve probably seen them lined up with a little tiny garden or a picket fence or something small. But there are also rural areas where you’ll have like dirt roads, gravel roads and these little pockets of trailers in this area.
And so this trailer was on one acre, it shared with another trailer, the owner. And then across was where my mom lived, she lived in a trailer on two acres or something. And so there’s a difference between a single wide and double-wide. Now I’m sorry I got into an accent here because these are rural people down in the south.
Yeah I was like wow Barbara suddenly got the accent.
And they’ve got the double wide and they’ve got the guns and dogs.
Yeah that kind of rough kind of area.
Sounds… I’m sorry for being stereotypical but sounds really southern.
Yeah it does sound stereotypical too, because when I moved there we had this expression trailer trash. And so it’s not very nice, it means trailer trash, it’s like trashy people who don’t keep their area. So you know, that’s kinda being prejudiced, that’s not really nice.
So I moved there and there would be a barrel where you’re supposed to put trash in. And somehow it wouldn’t get into the barrel. And so I said oh trailer trash, oh, I get it now. So these people are trailer trash. Yeah, really really messy, they’re out in the boondocks, nothing really matters.
And what about the time when you lived in Hollywood you said.
Yeah that was in West Hollywood.
Cause I heard one thing about LA in general, you now, LA area and Hollywood area is that it’s impossible to find a place to rent over there. Like, you know.
This was in the 1980s and I found this little place that was only like $350 a month, so it was very cheap.
Which would only be possible in the 1980s I believe.
Yeah yeah, it was pretty cheap.
I’m pretty sure now they would charge like 1500 for that same thing. Wow. Wow. So these things and trailers. And how do you call, I need your help with this. So how do you call a house for two families?
Oh well you mean a duplex?
A duplex, yeah. I think they call it like a semidetached house in Britain or something.
Maybe they do. But semi attached doesn’t’ that mean that there is some kind of alleyway between them or there is some space between them? But a duplex shares a wall.
Yeah I think a semidetached house shares a wall too. I think… I had a feeling that duplexes are quite widespread in the US. At least I thought that in Massachusetts, I saw a lot of buildings that, you know, like one house for two families.
Okay. You can call them duplexes, but then you might call it a townhouse. Cause if they are taller and struck together, yeah.
What’s the difference then between a townhouse and a duplex?
I think it’s their own structure but really set close to the next one, I’m not sure. That’s…
So let’ say if that’s two houses but they are basically like you now together, but it’s like two buildings, so then it would be a townhouse?
That might be one definition of a townhouse. When I think of a townhouse, I think of narrower and taller. They’re stuck together. But a duplex can be wider in my experience. I mean that’s what’ve seen. I think it just depends on…
So many, so many terms yeah. So many terms. Wow, yeah, yeah. So and tell me what in general do you prefer rural area or urban area? Barbara you’ve lived in both.
Yeah. I would say that I don’t like the pollution and the noise of the city, but living 20 floors up – it’s quiet! So I don’t really have any complaints of that. But with the rural area you get that fresh air. I do miss the foliage, I really miss the greenery and the trees. And the birds and the raccoons and the possums. Oh yeah! I miss that.
You miss racoons? Really?
Raccoons, oh yeah. Cause I put out food for the cats and so the raccoons would come, with their little…
Little thieves. Have you ever had a problem with skunks?
No, I wish I could’ve trapped a skunk! I wanted to have a skunk.
Why would you want to attract one?
Cause I love animals, that’s why…
That’s not the kind of animals you’d want to…
Oh, but there is a tortoise that came by one day and I get to get a friend… Hey you’ve gotta get this tortoise back into the water so he took it and put it in his truck and took it to the water again. A big one, a big one. Got lost somewhere.
I’ve never seen a sunk and I don’t want to but yeah, in Massachusetts, in the area I heard that sometimes there were raccoons. It was mostly, you know, bunnies running around.
What about an owl? Have you ever seen an owl in a tree?
Although when I was working at a secondary school we once had a situation when a baby owl just smashed into the window. So apparently it way trying to learn how to fly, so my students picked it up, wrapped it in a towel, called the zoo and said like okay, we have a situation, we have a baby owl. Can we bring it to you? And they said oh yeah, please do so. Apparently it lives there now. So yeah.
That’s cute, but it was in Yakutsk.
No it was here in Novosibirsk.
Where I lived before I came here was in a quiet little town and across form the road was a church and the church had a donkey. And so sometimes you would hear this hee-hawing. And I…
Yeah they really can. And so when I was hearing these hee-hawings I thought okay those are the geese flying over cause I didn’t know they had a donkey. I said wait those geese really sound like donkeys. Finally I saw oh there is a donkey over there.
So I went to the church and I wanted to make sure, I asked them does your donkey have toys? You know. Is your donkey happy? Are you taking good care of him? And it turned out that he was very happy, he did have toys and it was a church so he had a lot of people around.
Actually since, you know, since we’re talking about animals, a week ago, I, for the first time in my life I saw a hedgehog let’s say in the wild. So not, you know, in a cage or something, in a zoo, but in the wild. And the thing is that I’ve never seen them. And there are some at my mom’s dacha and sometimes she sends me pictures.
And every time in the evening I’m coming to the toilet or something, I’m like hedgehog, hedgehog, where are you? Come here. You know, please. But she sends, my mom sends me pics. I’m like how come that you see him and I don’t.
So and we were driving on an empty alley and my mom and my sister were like oh look a hedgehog. I’m like where? Where? And they’re like we’ve passed him, look into the back window, a rear window. And I’m like I don’t see him. So she went back, she drove back, stopped so I could step outside and have a look at the hedgehog. It’s so cute.
Talking about hedgehogs, that reminds me of big hog that appeared one day in my yard when we lived in a single wide. And it was a big old hog. And I said Emily, there’s a hog out here. And so soon enough, like a 12 or 13 year old boy came round and he was trying to get his hog back home.
It was a pet pig. And he couldn’t control the pig, the pig just wanted to do whatever pigs do. And he goes if you don’t come I’m gonna tell mama on you. Meaning his mother was gonna come out and say pig, go home.
You’re better go home or you’re gonna turn into a barbecue.
Oh that’s a good Southern accent.
Unintentional. Oh so what would you say was the best accommodation you’ve ever had?
I think it was in Thailand probably.
So what was so good about it?
It was on the 12th floor I guess and the design was really-really nice, interior was like all white and it was also a studio I guess. But it was kinda divided in two parts. There was kinda living room and a bedroom. Kind of. So and there was really beautiful view from the window and also they had a roof, some kind of ponds, you know. And lots of trees.
So you could go and relax.
I have a question. When we talk about let’s say best accommodation or something, can we count like hotels or hostels, things like that too? Or is it out of the picture? Or are we only talking about long-term?
I think we’re talking about long-term probably.
Alright, alright. Just staying for a couple of days will not count.
I mean, I think you have a story.
Yeah. I’m open for it, if you wanna talk about hotel…
I’m just curious – when we talk about accommodation, do we only talk about long-term or short-term.
No, accommodation to me is a short-term thing. That word to me is short-term.
So and housing would be a long-term?
Okay, okay. Barbara, the best?
Oh you see, I don’t know. I would say I always make wherever I live a home. I always will find something to make it the best place I’ve ever lived. But I guess growing up we lived in this house in Palo Alto. Palo Alto is the residing town of Stanford University.
A lot of beautiful houses there. And my mom rented this house that no one wanted to live in cause it only had one bathroom. And families love more than that. So we got this little house and just had the honeysuckle outside my bedroom window.
It had these two tallest pine trees in all of Palo Alto, the historic pine trees in my back yard. And it was just kind of wild backyard. And so I just have those memories, being out and feeling free to go out in the yard.
So this is in California then, Stanford?
I’ve always wanted to have, you know, a cool backyard, you know, with, I don’t know, bushes or trees or something like that, so you would open a window and… You know, I used to want to live in a place that had, you know, this ivy, you know…
Can you imagine this old historical buildings? Until a friend of mine who used to live in a house like that and work in a house like that in Britain said that this ivy has a lot of spiders nests in there. And I’m like thank you so much, I will never live in a house with an ivy on it then. Ever in my life.
Looks beautiful definitely.
Okay, well speaking of ivy. In Palo Alto there’d be a lot of ivy and I didn’t hear anyone complaining about ivy. Of course the spiders were there. But they lived in the ivy, the didn’t want to come in. They didn’t bother anybody.
They would bother me, just being there.
Just knowing their existence, they’re having families and eating and doing what spiders do.
What about daddy long legs? Those are completely…
No, they are still spiders to me, so I hope they will cease to exist.
You just don’t like their legs?
So I’m terrified of spiders. Afraid is not even enough of a word, I’m terrified of them. So and every time I come to my mom’s dacha to help, I see a lot of them, cause they live in the ground. So to me, no matter what kind of a spider that is, daddy long legs, or you know those horrible with, just horrible.
All of them horrible. Cause I think you can’t, you know, a creature with eight legs and eight eyes is way too unnatural. You can’t trust a thing. You know, all the insects, you know, the wasps, no matter how annoying they can be when they’re trying to sting you, they have two eyes and that’s natural.
Eight! That does not sound… That does not… No! You can’t trust a creature with 8 eyes, that’s what I believe. So I don’t want to live anywhere near. So that’s why I like living in Siberia and that’s why I like living in Massachusetts. Cause there are no, you know, spiders. Well sometimes occasionally you would see like a little spider, or something like that.
But no huge spiders or something like that. Which is why I will never set foot in Australia. Even if you pay me, no thank you. No. That’s why when I’m thinking like okay, let’s say if I want to live in the United States, what state would I consider? And I’m like, okay google, what states have a lot of spiders in there?
Like, cross them out. And too hot also. See, probably not like Arizona, because of the heat. Probably not Georgia because of the heat. So yeah. But maybe North-East then or North-West. Something to the Northern side, yeah. Alright, I’ve been thinking about my best accommodation/housing. And it’s hard.
No I mean the one that I’ve actually stayed in. I could only think about, well that’s gonna sound fancy, of my three days staying in a Marriott hotel in Washington DC which I also didn’t pay for because it was Fulbright conference. And Fulbright, just housed all of us at Marriott Hotel. All 400 of us.
So we were staying there in the center of Washington DC. I felt, you know… I’ve never felt so important. You know, cause I’m like I’m travelling to DC to a conference. And the Fulbright pays for my tickets, for my staying in a hotel. Yeah. I think that was…
Even though you know, technically there’s nothing special about a hotel room, but I think it was the very fact of, you know, being there and staying in the center of…
Yeah especially if you get one of those what are those… Dark lights, blue lights, ultra lights. You turn off the light and you flash this ultra light and you can see all those blood stains, human stains.
Oh I… No no no, I would not like to see that.
I’ve seen plenty of crime shows like that.
They do that in hotels or motels.
Yeah I don’t think I would like to see that. I think that would be very traumatic.
Especially, you know, in a place like, you know, Vegas for example, these are crazy places.
Even the expensive elite hotels. They have humans in there.
I don’t want to, I don’t want to think about that. I mean I saw… Even, you know, an apartment I’m renting right now, when I saw the mattress I was like what happened in here?
Like, I’m pretty sure… I think they had… Somebody who rented it had a baby maybe. So and I’m like okay, I need like three covers on top cause even the cleaning services could not, you know, get rid of the stains.
One time I lived in an apartment in Las Vegas and it smelled really raunchy. And so I asked around, I said why does this closet smell bad?
Were you sure you wanted to know the answer?
Yeah, really. It happened so that the previous tenant died.
She died in the apartment. And it just reeked.
Yeah, actually, I have a very sad story, but just quickly.
Yeah I’ve seen your post.
Yesterday I went outside the apartment and there was this horrible smell and I was even worried that somebody might have died. And it turned out to be true.
And apparently he’s been there… He lived, he used to live alone. So apparently it happened a while ago and then the heat cause the neighbors only found out because of the smell and the flies. And they called the police, police opened the door but they left him inside cause they were waiting for somebody to take him, you know, to the morgue.
And only at half past midnight he was taken away, cause I could see from the window, you know, the black bags and everything. So and now I was coming here to record the podcast and the door’s open. So they didn’t close it.
That’s so sad. He doesn’t have anybody to…
Well yeah, or maybe he has relatives, but it’s… One day is enough.
It’s so undignified. You would think that when we die, we shouldn’t stink. But everything that happened…
Yeah, we shouldn’t have to attract the flies and bugs and worms.
We should stay beautiful and, I don’t know…
He was just unlucky, you know, to be alone for a day. You know, one day in this heat is all it takes, yeah.
Well things happen. People die in their apartments sometimes, yeah. They have a whole word for that in Japan cause that’s a very common thing in Japan and the thing… If I’m not mistaken the houses are built in such a way that sometimes you don’t even feel the smell because of the, you know, thick walls or something.
And you know, they would come in at the moment when there is like an outline of a person already. So that’s a very big problem in Japan of people dying alone. Yeah.
I mean probably because they live really long, yeah. And just get lonely.
I don’t know, I don’t know. So what about, we’ve talked about the best places we’ve stayed or we’ve lived in. What about the worst places?
Well what I’ve described is kinda like the worst place I’ve stayed.
Yeah, that sounds like it, that sounds like it.
Being single and having to pay rent by yourself, you don’t have a lot of choices.
Yeah, really. So I always made the best of it. And endured a lot.
I believe you. I think especially in the US where rent sometimes is insane. It is insane. Cause let’s say Novosibirsk is more or less affordable. I mean even if you can’t rent, you know, a studio just for yourself you can rent a room for yourself or let’s say an apartment, 2 bedroom apartment together with somebody.
And you know, the conditions can be quite good. So but in the US, god, I saw what’s on the market. 1000 for a room. Like, one room, are you crazy? Natalie, what about you? The worst place.
The worst, the worst. I think probably it was in China. I mean I didn’t have to pay for it because like the school paid for it. But it was like… The worst part of it was that there were no windows.
I mean there were actually so it was made like this, so it was a living room. Oh god, how to say, so it was like a shower, I mean, a bath, and there was a kitchen. So and there were windows in the bathroom actually, which is kinda funny.
Okay. But not in the living room?
Exactly. Because it was like…
Sure why would you need, you know, window in…
So yeah, but there was a balcony actually, so which was pretty nice.
So those bathrooms… But that bathroom with the window faces other bathrooms with their window, right?
No, there was actually a temple, so it’s even funnier I guess.
Yeah I sometimes feel weird when there are windows, you know, in a bathroom. Cause you wanna make sure you have good curtains or, you know, something else. Maybe not the curtains, but… How do you call these things, you know..
The shades, yeah. The shades. So yeah, I always let a little bit uncomfortable with that to be honest. Especially when… Cause I used to live in a house where there was a window in a bathroom and it was next to… So you were taking a bath and there was a window, like…
And it was the first floor. So it was very uncomfortable. I always had a feeling, you know, that even though I knew that you couldn’t see anything, you know, from the outside, cause I checked. You know, I always had a feeling that if it was in the evening, you could still see the shadow of a person. I was like I don’t want that.
Well that came true for me. I was living on the first floor or the ground floor of a cheap apartment and I was in my bathroom and I sneezed. That’s what you do in the bathroom.
And exactly! Someone in the driveway said Gesundheit or Bless you! I was so mad, I was so mad.
Oh god. That’s one thing I don’t like about some apartments you know, when the walls are so thin you can hear everything. Even things you don’t wanna hear. Like I wish I couldn’t hear that. Oh god. Have you ever lived in a dorm?
I lived in a YMCA in NYC for a summer. Yeah.
Y – Youth, M – Men, C – Christian’s, A – association.
Okay. What was it like? What were the conditions there?
I have to say it was not a dorm, they were little rooms. But we all shared the same dorm-like showers, so a series of showers. All in one room.
Okay. Oh, Natalie, you’re a local, so you never had to.
Oh yes. After living for 4 years in a Novosibirsk dorm I am not afraid of anything.
So when you ay a dorm you’re talking about multiple beds lined up?
Yes. Well I mean, what I mean is, in our dorm at least, it was a corridor and then each room had 4 people in it.
So, you know, it was usually two bunk beds, so let’s say in my room it was one bunk bed, two, you know, just ordinary beds. A table for cooking, one desk for four people, right, it’s just the right amount of desks you need, right.
At university, right? Who needs to study.
One wardrobe, again, for 4 girls, right. And each of us got a shelf. Wow, what a luxury.
But you were young then, right? Not that you’re not young now, but you were young back then.
Okay. So don’t think it’s exciting for a 16… Yes, that’s kinda young. That’s exciting.
It was exciting, but also I was not fully ready for that I would say. So and luckily I had good roommates, we always helped... Apart from one of them but luckily she left from the first year cause she graduated.
So we tried to help each other, we sometimes cooked together, and we had no, you know, fights or arguments about space. So let’s say the desk fitted two people, so we usually would take turns who would sit at the desk, who would do the homework somewhere else.
So, a lot of people did their homework on their beds, so things like that. Well, we had to. Next to our room was the kitchen. So, the whole… So each floor was divided into two wings, the small wing and the large wing. I was lucky enough to live in the small wing. Why lucky?
Cause both of the wings have the same conditions, meaning… I can call it a bathroom, but it basically is five basins. No showers, basins, just basins on each floor, in each wing. Five toilets. And in the kitchen there were three stoves.
But now small wing had all that for 80 people, large wing had all that for 160 people. And you can not imagine what’s sharing five toilet stalls is like with 160 people. It was brutal.
Honestly, it was so bad. And the thing is that, I’m sorry for saying that, but the toilets during the weekend were not cleaned. Like I would have any opportunity not to go there. You know, it was horrible.
And then the kitchen was cleaned by the students, so we had a schedule, so and let’s say in the small wing you clean it after other people after the whole day. You wash the floors, you wash the stoves, everything. But once we saw it and it was like in the large wing. God, I was like I would not like to live there. And then the showers.
You know. So for example what I love American, my American dorm for and I love when students complain about that cause I’m like my sweet summer children, let me tell you about, you know, a Russian dorm. Cause in there, let’s say, in the US, you come to a shower, you have a curtain or you have a door. Not in Russia.
Cause you have, well, let’s say, 10 shower stalls, 10 shower stalls, opposite them. So 20 shower stalls. No doors. You know, very communal feeling. So you see everybody, everybody sees you. And I have no idea what kind of upbringing some of the people had, some of the girls had, cause some of them would put, I’m sorry, like their pads, they would stick them to the walls. I was like jesus, why? Why? Do you have any sense of, you know, common decency?
I’ve never heard of such a thing.
It was so horrible. I’ve seen things I wish I could unsee, really. And you can imagine what it was like – it was 20 shower stalls for 800 girls in the dorm.
In the evening. And it was only open from like 10am till like 9pm, and not working on Monday. And I do not if you remember, but we had physical education on Monday.
Oh my god, that’s so awful.
So after that you were all sweaty but you couldn’t take a shower, because it’s not working. So you would just have a bucket of water and just, you know, try to was yourself in the room, you know, trying to hide behind the wardrobe.
Sounds like, I don’t know, prison or something, really.
So after, after that, no matter what kind of conditions I lived in, it was like summer camp.
I lived in a dormitory, well, we called it a squad bade in the military.
Were you in the military?
Yeah I was in the military. So when we were in bootcamp, we’d have a squad bay. And this as a lot of, you know, recruits. But everything was really clean and organized. So everything was…
So was it just one large space and bunk beds?
Yes, yes. And this would be… There were 70 of us, so it would be a big squad bay and then the bunk beds lined up.
How long were you in the military?
But still, it’s a long time! Wow!
Yeah, still cool! I mean, nice experience!
So wait, does that mean that you’re a veteran?
It does mean that I’m a veteran. So veteran kinda means a different… When we think of veteran, we think of someone who’s actually fought in the war. But literally, technically a veteran is someone who’s been in the military.
Who’s been in the military. We have a little bit different notion of that here in Russia and the US, yeah. Wow, Barbara!
But that was a dormitory. And that was nothing like what you’ve described.
I think, well, I think this is just what we’re used to calling that. Maybe it’s better to call it a student residence then in my case.
I think that would be a more accurate, that would not lead to confusion. So, a student residence.
Well, once we got on base, we had dormitories and that’s what you were describing maybe two or four in one room sharing it. So that would be a dormitory situation.
Cause let’s say at Wellesley, we also call it like a dorm, like what dorm are you in? Or student residence, so both of them.
Right. A building, and then you’ve got this series of rooms.
So yeah. And yeah, with our university, it was just corridors and then rooms-rooms-rooms-rooms and 4 people in each. And it was co-ed, so…. Which was really funny, because you know, so you can imagine, first-years, so we were what? 17? 18? I was 16.
And then common kitchen, so you would be cooking something, and then, it was so adorable. There were guys who were what, 18-19, who were like girls, do I put eggs in a boiling water or cold water? How do I make this? How do I do that? Okay, let me show you.
Oh you fell for it? Oh let me show you.
Well I mean otherwise they would’ve burned, you know, the kitchen and we were the ones to clean it after them.
Yeah, yeah. And sometimes, you know, what I loved about living in there is that if you had absolutely no money, cause, you know, student life, didn’t always have the money. So and when you had almost nothing to eat, your roommates would always help.
So they would, always, you know, give you some food. You would never starve, you know. And sometimes you can, you could, you know, swap something. Like, let me help you with this, trading for some food.
Yeah, yeah. But fun experience, very fun experience. Yeah, 4 years of that and my 5th year I moved out and I moved in with my sister, so we started to rent a condo together. So.
What about roommates? I mean, you’ve gotta have the perfect roommate, right, living in a dormitory or a condo or wherever.
Because that’s kinda difficult. It’s kinda intimate situation and you got…
Yeah for example in my fifth year, when I… Cause at the beginning of the year I started to live in a dorm and then I decided to move out. We had a roommate and we had to make her move out of our room cause she… So she…
You know this situation when somebody, especially, you know, like teenagers or somebody, they get out of their parents’ control, so they go nuts? And they go wild? That’s what she did. One month later she got STD. And we’re like honey, you’re moving outta here or we’re writing a complain and you’re getting kicked out of the dorm at all.
Like and you’ll have to find a place to live, like, it’s your problem. Cause nobody wanted, you know, to get STD. Cause we shared the dishes, we shared the plates, the forks. We were like don’t even dare to touch anything right now. Cause, yeah.
But at least she told you. I mean…
Not that she did actually. Okay… You live… Four girls in one room it’s like 4 FBI agents. We find things out. So yeah. Well that’s why I like, you know, American dorms cause they are way nicer. Of course, you know, I lived in an old building, so let’s say Wellesley was built like 100 years ago. I had centipedes, but I mean it’s an old building, they are harmless. Two eyes, so, you know, more or less natural.
100 legs, yes, 100 legs is a little bit not, but you know, they are more or less fine, yeah. So, yeah. And what about interiors? So let’s say, let’s now think of places you’ve lived in, so what kind of interiors do you prefer? How do you prefer to decorate your room or your apartment?
I don’t know, I really like something minimalistic, you know with not a lot of decorations and…
That’s gonna come in handy when you get a mortgage and you don’t have to buy a lot of things. Furniture is expensive these days.
Yeah that’s true. No. Yeah I mean a lot of, you know, when there are a lot of colors kind of makes me feel claustrophobic or something like that. But I like decorations, you know. For example, I used to live in apartment in Scotland and there were, you know, I mean the walls were actually painted and there was an artist who lived before us there.
And there was like a swan painted on the walls and in another one there was a panda or something like that. Yeah, also painted on the wall. And it was really beautiful and the color of the walls was like turquoise or something like that.
Like really beautiful. And the design was pretty simple but these walls, they were kind of, you know, emphasizing the simplicity. And yeah, I think that’s what I prefer. Or something like you know, in a really countryside style, something like again…
So would you like to have like dark wood or something like that? Or more of a light wood or no wood at all?
I think probably light wood because it’s kind of, I don’t know, it just looks pretty I guess. Yeah.
So something like that probably.
I lived in a house, the bungalow with the cockroaches.
Yeah, that one. The kitchen and what I called my studio was this very dark wood and it was so depressing. So I’m so against dark wood. But I love wallpaper and laces I say. I think if I were to decorate something more like Victorian.
And I actually do remember living in a Victorian house in San Francisco in one time. And this wonderful bay windows that have an alcove. And a pillow where you could sit and the window is three dimensional, three sided.
So it sticks over the street, so you can see in the front and all the sides. So that’s a really nice wood and beautiful. I love the hardwood floors though, I love hardwood.
Oh yes, yeah. In Scotland it’s like, it’s creaking sometimes, but it’s lovely.
Yeah, it’s kinda friendly, yeah.
As long as no one’s creaking over you.
Yeah it’s like one interior, one style that I don’t really like is the typical Soviet style which would include a lot of carpets, carpets everywhere. Rugs, on the walls.
It looks so strange to me.
I don’t understand it, really, like why?
No one does. We don’t ask questions I think, we just accept it. Lots of carpets, lots of rugs. And I think what I would like to have, no offence to my mom whom I love really much, but it’s this style of hoarders, you know, all the statuettes, all the souvenirs you’ve got over, like, you know, over your whole life.
Even you know, the cheapest and the ugliest ones. When my parents were moving from Yakutsk to here, I’m like why are you carrying like this? Of course there are some, you know, they have some emotional value. But I’m like you don’t even remember who got you this. Maybe some colleague you didn’t even like, cause it’s so cheap and ugly. She’s like well I don’t know, it was given to me, so I’m not gonna throw it away.
And she just put it on the fridge, yeah, like, or anywhere else in the apartment?
She has like a whole cupboard with shelves for those things.
That explains things to me, cause I was wondering because when I’d seen these tv shows on Russian tv, Русский роман. And they’re in these dachas and this… And there are so many things!
Yeah, so it’s very Soviet. I think it’s like the part of the culture maybe, so there are a lot of people who are… Well not really hoarders, but they do not throw things away.
They just collect things like any things.
But it has something to do with the carpet on the walls, it has something to do with the freezing.
Actually, no, I’ve heard that carpets used to be like really expensive, like, I don’t know, 30-40 years ago.
Exactly. Exactly. And they were like look I have a carpet, on the floor, I don’t know.
Yes, exactly. I heard this theory actually.
Well that actually sounds more like it. Cause since we have central heating it’s always hot in winter, so we have no problem with that being cold, even in Yakutia it was always like you know quite hot. But yeah.
Yeah… Really, I think my mom has like more than a hundred different statuettes and things and stuff like that. She used to even have things like candles which were given to her as a gift. I’m like candles are for burning them. She’s like oh I don’t know.
I’m like give them to me, I’m gonna burn… I love candles, you know. I love them.
Actually my grandma, she still has like you know carpets on the walls. And every time I come to her, it’s like aw.
Well at least my mom doesn’t have that. At least she doesn’t have that, but all the statuettes she still does. And that’s what I don’t… I mean l like different, you know, decorations and statuettes, but they, when they fit into the interior. You know when there are not too many and they are not, you know…
Too colorful, cause sometimes you look at them and your eyes hurt. Cause there are so many different colors and they are so tiny and big. You’re like oh oh oh. Woah! Too bright! So but…
I would like to have some decorations which would, you know, fit the interior somehow.
Yeah, so nothing that would distract, you know, too much.
But if you have cats, they have to knock stuff over.
Well that’s the thing you have to bear… Plastic?
I mean they can knock it off all they want, just pick it back up. But I love the videos of cats who just jump and they look at you and you’re like don’t, and they’re like whatcha gonna do?
Before I went on Facebook, I did not know that my cats were the same as other cats, of the world cats. I thought my cats were just special. And I would see how they behaved and I think okay, they’re just driving me crazy. Just to drive me crazy. And then when I saw these videos I thought.
Before you went on Facebook you never knew how many millions of videos of cats existed out there.
So and what about renovation? So have you ever done renovation yourself? So with the wallpaper maybe? Or something like that?
I don’t know, really. Probably not.
I will have that, definitely.
That studio. I actually have a question then – are you gonna try to do that yourself, maybe with the help of your friends and parents, or are you gonna have it done by professionals?
Actually, I don’t know. That’s a long kind of story, so we’re kinda selling one apartment and we’re gonna trade it into two studios. And when I was saying about mortgage, I’m gonna pay the difference. Like, to have two studios.
Well you still have to think what you want to see inside.
Yes, exactly. But I have been thinking maybe I will get already done apartment, condo. Yeah, okay.
So a little bit of cheating over here, okay.
I hope for that, really. So only furniture, only some design. All the stuff like that.
Well I painted, I’m telling you about the dark wood. I decided that… I put up a piece of white paper, okay, now this makes sense. If these walls were light, it would be brighter in here. So I got buckets of bright pink paint.
Very bright pink. And it took me about 3 or 4 days to paint cause I had to do a lot of layers of painting. But I really enjoyed painting that week. And of course the bright pink made me happy.
Yeah, cause it was for my studio, it had… I painted my ballet bars pink.
Yeah, it was for my studio. Painted the floors white and…
I can imagine, it must look really beautiful.
Yeah. Cats liked it, I liked it.
That’s how you know it was a success.
I’m a little bit afraid of doing all the renovation myself cause I think like oh, one mistake… Well, I mean, I’ve changed, I put the wallpaper when I was living in a students residence. Cause you know, when we moved in in our first year, it was two days before the studying started.
So it was really illogical, why would you make students move in two days before all of the studying process started. So and there were four types of wallpaper on there. And some of it was so old, a lot of that was just taped, so it wouldn’t fall off.
So we got through the year, but next year, since we were the second…. We were sophomores, so we moved in five days before everything started, so e changed the wallpaper. But since neither my roommate nor I had any experience in that, that was… That looked ridiculous.
Yeah professional wall hangers.
Yeah. But you now, poor students, so didn’t have much choice. It was, you know… Well luckily we just bought simple beige wallpaper. But still sometimes it would go, you know, to the side. I was like okay, we’ll try to… And you know how you have to roll it so there are no bubbles of air under them. Well, we didn’t’ manage to do that. So there were like bubbles of air everywhere.
Yeah, a specific design, you know.
Yeah. Antistress, so you can try to burst the bubbles.
But also, you know, it’s students residence, so either that or having something else which is horrible. Oh I have forgotten to mention about that lovely room and the dorm. Since right next to us was the kitchen, so you know, it was a kitchen, next room was ours. We had a lovely family of mice.
Sometimes I would come in and my roommate would be like wash the cup. I’m like it’s clean, I washed it in the morning. She’s like no there was a mouse in it. I’m like how lovely. And we asked, you know, the…
I don’t even know how to call that person – a person who is responsible for the dorm, who controls it. So we have a special person for that. And we went there and we were like we have mice.
Well, that actually sounds nice. Although she was not in any way a nice lady I’m afraid, but she’s like what am I supposed to do? Get something. She’s like get the poison. We’re like we can’t get the poison, cause we have a hole in the wall and sometimes mice, you know, they migrate through the building. And if it dies in the wall…
Or in the ceiling… The smell is gonna kill us. So she’s like I don’t know. So we just got a mousetrap and that’s how we found out there were 8 of them. That was…
Yeah they live in the walls and then the unfortunate thing is that they can do a lot of damage to electrical wires.
And that’s dangerous, I mean, it can burn down.
Yeah. They ate a lot of food as well, yeah.
Yeah, so they’re fat and happy.
Yeah, 8 of them, a happy family. Big family, yeah. Alright. So and tell me, what would be your dream house or dream apartment maybe. So let’s dream a little bit. Where? What kind of a place? How many bedrooms?
I think we’ve like spoken about it a little bit before. I don’t remember what podcast it was. Like, one of them anyway.
Oh I think it was when we were talking about living in other countries, like where would we like to live. It was more about the country.
Yeah. It was like just a little bit.
Yeah, like a continent or a country. Now let’s get more specific into that.
And talk about a house yeah.
Yeah actually, you start.
I think I would like to… First of all for a long time I couldn’t decide whether I would like to live in a house or in an apartment. And now I think that I would like to live in an apartment cause a house needs way more maintenance.
Way more effort and time and money, you know, with wires and everything everything everything. So that’s why I think I would like to live in an apartment, let’s say two bedroom, two bathroom, nice beautiful big kitchen. And I’ve recently been to Ikea cause remember, my idea of reorganizing everything, and I saw there a kitchen which is…
So the counters are light wood, you know, like almost white. And then the doors and everything themselves are white. And all the, you know, the details like the handles, they are gold. And it’s such a nice… It has so much light and style.
And I think oh I would like to have a kitchen like that. A lot of space, maybe, you know, a kitchen island to cook on. A living room. Maybe combined with the dining room as well, so you know, a nice place to eat lunch together with the family or something like that.
Okay. Since you’ve said that, cause I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got. But if I could have anything, I’d have a bigger bathtub and I would have a window on the east side. Cause I would like to see the un coming in, I don’t like a dark bathroom. So that would be really important to me.
I’ve been to an apartment once which was my friend’s parents’ apartment who lived in Boston. So they had an apartment, first of all it was in a hotel. So but they owned it, if I’m not mistaken. And the thing is that they had two bedrooms, so one bigger bedroom, one smaller bedroom like a guest bedroom in their case it was.
So two bathrooms, one smaller bathroom, you know, just a basin, a toilet, a little shower cabin. And a bigger bathroom with two, you know, a lot of space, a bathtub with a jacuzzi. A bigger shower stall and toilet, but you know, behind like doors. But it was big.
Not a jacuzzi, because you can not clean.
Cause those big deep tubs, you cannot clean them.
They are really difficult to clean. Yeah.
But it was so nice to take a bath, you know…
You just need someone to clean it, but it’s hard.
Yeah. Maybe, you know, that’s my dream, so I would like to be able to afford somebody to clean that.
Yeah you have to have someone to clean it.
I don’t mind, you know, being able to afford that. I would… And a place to work, so some kind of, you know, like a nice big desk, a library, so some place like that.
And a balcony, like a big balcony where I can put a rocking chair. So I can… And a little table to the side so I could like you know, sit in that rocking chair and read a book and maybe have some…
I mean you are too young for that probably, you know.
Oh no I’m fine, you know, I’m fine. I used to… My mom has a rocking chair and I wanted to take it cause she doesn’t need it, she’s like take it. But I don’t have enough space. But I love sitting in there and just, you know, just read a book.
They take up space with those big rockers.
Yeah you need a lot of space for that.
Like an actual rocking chair? Like would be…
Yeah. It’s big. It takes a lot of space. Cause at first I thought maybe I can put it on my balcony. I went to my balcony – oh, not even a half of that would fit over here.
Wherever I live, I always have a studio space. Always with a bar and a mirror and space. Cause I don’t have a bar and a mirror here, so I’m lacking in that. But that’s a necessity – I have to have space where I can do my craft. Cause you were talking about a desk, place to work. But that would be my work, a studio.
Yeah, I don’t even… I cannot even imagine you being in a space you know, in some kind of an apartment with too much stuff and nowhere to turn around.
That doesn’t sound like you.
I would shove stuff to the corner so I would have space.
Okay I think it’s my turn. Yeah, to describe a perfect house. So as I’ve mentioned before in a previous podcast which you can listen to obviously.
It’s an episode about living and working in other countries, yes.
Yes, thank you. So yeah, I mentioned that I’d like to live somewhere next to the water, you know, sea, river, lake maybe. Something like that.
Ocean, yeah, maybe. I don’t know, really. So yeah and it must be a house, definitely, not an apartment, not a condo. Okay. Something like I don’t know, something comfy and not really big, like a cottage probably. Yeah. And it must be somewhere maybe far from the city, maybe. But I don’t know really, because it might get me bored.
So you still, you know, struggle to decide whether you want the a hustle and bustle or whether you want the fresh air and…
I mean, yeah, like a studio…
But there must be, you know, a lawn and a lot of trees. I don’t know, something like that, and water.
You know, I’ve also realized that since I wanna live in a condo/apartment, I would like that to be in a complex. One of those complexes where you have, let’s say, a gym, like you know on one floor.
I want that in my house. Just for me.
Cause I find that really you know, convenient. Especially when it’s only for residents. So and you know, I’ve seen pictures… So I follow a girl on Instagram, she’s a Russian but she lives in…. I don’t remember the name of the town, but it’s in New Jersey, so and they rent an apartment and it has a gym on one floor, a little coffee shop on the ground floor. And then on the roof they have, you know, like a patio or something like that. So a place to have fire.
and since it’s New Jersey, they have New York skyline to look at. And I think that’s fantastic. Cause it’s not New York prices, it’s New Jersey prices. And you get to see the Manhattan skyline, god!
Yeah that’s kind of what I had in Thailand, again, going back to Thailand. So there was this roof and there were kind of, again, there were some tables, there were some chairs. You could also sit there, have a snack, coffee, I don’t know. Something else if you want to. And there was a gym as far as I remember. So. I think it’s really cool.
I think it would definitely motivate me, you know, to finally start working out.
Okay, so I’ve got the big bathtub on the East side and a studio. Then this place would be situated on some land, animal rescue. So I would have lots of people helping animals. That’s what I want.
So would you love to live in a city or in a rural area?
No, I would say in a rural area. I wouldn’t live near the city. What would I need the city for? What would I need it?
Have you ever thought about or maybe you have lived on a farm? I mean close to a farm?
Yeah. But the animal rescue places, they help animals, they protect it. They need protecting and care. And I really love that.
You know that’s what I loved about living in the US. At least at Wellesley, cause you know, it’s a really small town and on campus there are so many animals. Like this was the first time that I actually saw… Oh god, how do you… Oh god. I forgot the name of a bird, it has… So they say that it delivers babies, you know.
A stork, right. I saw one, like, I was passing by in a little forest at Wellesley. And I saw this. I’m like is it like plastic? Paper? Cause sometimes they put up… It was not moving at all. I’m like are you real? Maybe it’s just a decoration. But it looks real, you know.
Decoration, just… So I’m like decoration, okay. I started moving and then I saw it, you now, move a little bit. I just looked at it – so, are you real? And I just saw it was not moving, and then it blinked. I’m like you are real!
Do you know that they have life-long mates? A boy and a girl will stay together for their whole life, 20-30 years cause they live for a long time. And then the male will have to fly away because that’s their pattern, and then the girl stork will wait for her partner to come back. Yeah. It’s amazing. Storks are amazing.
Life goals. The only type of fauna that I… I can’t say that I did not like them, I just did not trust them a little bit were the geese. Cause on our campus you would walk and there would be like a company of like 30 geese. And you know, they are peculiar. So and I would just…
And they’re aggressive, right?
Oh yes. And I would just look at them, like, okay, I’ll take a detour and just go around the building. Cause they can be quite aggressive sometimes, I don’t trust them. Especially in the spring when they have the babies, you know, the little ducklings. Not the ducklings. How do you call the little…
The gosling, yeah. The gosling.
But they are kind of protective, so you have to…
It’s funny that in Massachusetts you can’t do anything to the geese cause technically they belong to Canada, they are Canadian geese flying over.
So yeah, they belong to Canada. So that’s why geese feel, you know, superior. Like what you gonna do to us? You can’t do anything. But they look great though. And swans, I like the swans as well.
Isn’t it amazing how dirty they are though? You think of a white swan. Oh they’re so dirty from the water.
And have you ever seen them walk on land? They’re completely awkward.
But they still look gracious. At least in the water.
Yeah. They are, they are adorable. And bunnies, there are so many bunnies. I actually know some people who live in… I think it was in Mississippi and in Utah and somewhere else and they posted pictures on their way to campus. And there were deer, especially, you know, like baby deer. Like Bambi!
They’re like yeah you go to work, it’s like being in a Disney movie. You know like reindeer. Not reindeer, but deer just being around. It’s so nice. Yeah. That’s nice. And I actually wanna know what is a dream housing of our listeners. So, please… You can even attach, you know, pictures form Pinterest.
I love seeing, you know, all that and finding out what other people would love to have. And that’s why I love this topic in my classes like so so so much. And if you have any stories about cool places you’ve stayed or you’ve lived in.
And horrible places you’ve stayed or you’ve lived in, also share. We would really love to talk to you and to discuss these situations. Alright, well, Barbara, Natalie, thank you so much.
For discussing one of my favorite topics… Why didn’t we have it like way earlier? I don’t know, really. Alright, so thank you for listening and remember if you struggle to understand our conversation, you are always welcome to our website which is BigAppleSchool.com/podcast.
You can find full scripts of each episode there and you can read them while listening, they are very interactive. You know, where the script just pops up with our pictures next to it, so it’s really fun to see.
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Stay tuned and we’ll see you around.