It's been a whirlwind since we returned to the US. In addition to seeing family and friends, and eating the foods we didn't get to have in Kazakhstan, we also located an apartment and signed a short-term lease. We're in the process of unpacking a sea of boxes now. It's enough to make me feel pretty anti-stuff again, but I suppose as time goes on, I'll be grateful to have sheets on the bed, towels in the bathroom, and dishes to eat off of.
So far, there seems to be a lot to like about the apartment. The complex seems quiet, there is a good amount of both floor space and storage space, and the kitchen has a decent amount of counter space. There are a couple of interesting quirks I've already noticed, however:
1. With seven (!) closets in a two-bedroom apartment, only one of them has room to hang long stuff like pants, dresses, and butt-covering coats. The rest of them have more built-in shelves, which is great for almost everything else. Interestingly, this one closet that has room to hang the long stuff is in the second (non-master) bedroom. This works fine for us since we're just a couple and we're using the second bedroom as a study anyway. But imagine parents with kids trying to choose between keeping the master bedroom for themselves or having easy access to their longer items of clothing. Or, worse yet, imagine roommates trying to sort this out.
2. The master bathroom feathers a small room with the shower and toilet and then, outside the door, a sink with counter space. The only towel rack is inside the small room with the shower and toilet, leaving people who want to just wash their hands nothing but their pants to dry them off.
Wishing everyone logical home design for 2016!