Naturally, being in a foreign country can sometimes lead to some misadventures, let's call them. In my first month in Ukraine I have had lots of crazy misadventures where I have found myself in almost comically bad situations. While most of these stories are quite short, I have decided that I will start sharing some of these with you all. I hope you find them as funny as I do. I think I will collect them for my future memoir.
So for my first Ukrainian misadventure, I am going to tell you about my bathroom.
In Ukraine, like a lot of Europe, many homes have a toilet room and a shower room. And my apartment here in Ukraine is no different. I also have a manual water heater in my kitchen that I have to light with a lighter if I want warm water. Another final important detail of my apartment is that I have central heating which hasn't started working so it is a little cold in my apartment.
All of these details are important for my story.
So, a week ago, I was up late working on planning my lessons for the next day and at 11:30pm I decided I should take a shower and go to bed. Groggily, I turn up my hot water heater in my kitchen and went to my shower room. Now, because it is so cold, I usually shut my shower room door before I even take off my socks because it is too cold for my toes to be uncovered.
After shutting my door, I turned on the hot water, as hot as possible to fill the bathroom with warm steam. This has been my habit most of my time in Ukraine. But, I noticed that the water heater wasn't turned quite high enough so my shower was still pretty cold. So, I decided I needed to fix the heater...in my kitchen. I grab the bathroom handle push it open and nothing happens. The door does not open.
Umm, I thought with panic. Why is my door not working? But to be honest I wasn't all that worried at first. I figured I could jiggle the handle a bit and it would open. I was wrong. No luck.
So, I surveyed my bathroom. Considering which of my limited tools I could use to fix the handle and open the door. For 20 minutes, I stood in my tiny bathroom, literally turning in circles trying to find a solution to my problem. But surprisingly, I wasn't too panicked. Worst case scenario, I could sleep in my bathtub. I considered.
After 30 minutes of being locked in my bathroom, and exhausting all of my possible solutions to the problem, I decided it was time to call in reinforcements. AKA my savior, Julia. Nervously, I texted her. Are you still awake? Crossing my fingers that she had been busy that day and was up late grading papers or working on lessons for the next day.
When she responded yes, I breathed a sigh of relief but then realized I had to tell her about my situation. Blushing with embarrassment, I messaged her a long message, I am so sorry to bother you and this is so embarrassing but I went to take a shower and I think I am now locked in my bathroom. And I am not sure what I should do...etc. etc.How mortifying.
Somehow, nothing seems to shake Julia. She is a just like my mom in that she has a solution to all problems. She calls me and says do not worry and don't move (haha funny joke), my husband and I are on our way to you now. So, they 'broke' into my apartment, set me free, and her husband even fixed my door handle for me. It was a great first impression that I was able to make on Julia's husband!
But, I will tell you all, I have learned my lesson and I don't know if i will ever close a door behind me again...without an exit plan.