February 24, 2006

village people

We're counting down the days til we're done here, and I still haven't written about some of the basics of being here. I only have 3 nights left there, but my place of residence is the beautiful Riberi Media Village. Most call it the prison, but I've seen other blogs that call it the Asylum.

Riberi used to be a Military Hospital. While it's really not that bad of a place, when you're there for a whole month, it gets to be pretty dismal. The complex actually in a way is kind of cool - its very "Dr Zhivago" with these elaborate glass colonnades that connect most of the building around the main courtyard. If it weren't so stark and barren (complete with high brick walls and barbed wire stantions), maybe we wouldn't refer to our buildings as "Block M" or "Block B". It is clean and it is extremely warm - in temperature (to the point of giving everyone lizard skin). It could be a whole lot worse.

The rooms are basic four white walls and grey tile floor. Furniture is a very narrow twin bed and a desk and a bureau, ikea style. I was a rare case in that I got a bathroom with a window, but the rooms don't come with curtains. For the first week, I just let the nearby apartment buildings see whatever they might.

After about a week, I hiked over to the local Carrefour (small version of a Kmart) and bought a sheet for a curtain and a clear drop cloth for the bathroom window, as well as a bathmat to use as a bedroom rug (it was all I could find) and I hung a poster that I got from the Media Center. Not quite home, but a little more tolerable. (Don't let the coziness of the picture above fool you!)

Honestly, my biggest disappointment is that the entire Riberi Village is all NBC employees, so there is no opportunity to meet people from all over the globe. I think I had romanticized the idea of a social "village" where people met and hung out as well, but its pretty much just draggin yourself to your room, closin the door, sleepin, showerin, and then sloggin back to the bus stop...

I am staying in Torino Monday night as well, I'm really looking forward to experiencing that one night in a hotel downtown as the real beginning of my European experience.


Scorzafava said...

um, where did that palm tree in the second pic come from? they have those in torino?

or is it a little bit of CA came with ya.

tina (val says hi)

Unknown said...

I should have mentioned that in the text! It's this one lone palm tree out of nowhere..I haven't seen any anywhere else. It's a source of amusement for us all.