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I’ve been back in the USSR – so to speak – for less than 48 hours and am already ready to be in my own bed.  Seven more days to go so that’s not a great sign.

I am pleased with our apartment however.  It is very quaint and right in the heart of the city.  From the street side, it looks like magnificent.  From the entrance/alley side, less so.  It was advertised as having an external entrance and lobby.  The “entrance” is a chip-activated door leading from the alley parking.  The “lobby” is a 3’x3′ stoop with mail slots.  We are on the fifth floor and there is a working elevator so I won’t complain.  The elevator is one of these delicate things that is exactly big enough for me, Prince Charming and the baby.  If we stand sideways.

Ensconced in our home for a week, we have two separate bedrooms, a living room, a decent kitchen and a bathroom.  We also have free wi-fi, a local phone, and an international phone with unlimited long-distance calling.  Best of all we have a washer so we were able to pack fairly light and will wash clothes regularly.

When I booked the apartment online, there was an option to pre-purchase some grocery items to have the refrigerator stocked when we arrived.  Believing at that time that Sophie would be accompanying us (another story), I went ahead and placed a small order so we would have something for that first night and first breakfast:

1 loaf wheat bread, 1 loaf plain bread, 1 cheese (Gouda or similar), 1 salami, 3 small vanilla yogurts 1 liter of grape juice, 1 liter of milk, 2 apples, 2 bananas and 10 eggs.

Fifty-three bucks to cover a few meals seemed like a good idea.  And it was.  Except for the cheese.

I love cheese.  Yellow, white, young, aged, hard, soft – I love it all.  Except Swiss.  I hate Swiss cheese.  Bet you can guess what is in my refrigerator here.  That’s right.  Approximately TWO POUNDS OF SWISS CHEESE!  I imagine the cleaning lady will be thrilled to empty the refrigerator when we move out.

IF she likes Swiss cheese, that is.