Saturday, March 30, 2013

Domestic Life

I have been wanting to post some photos of our home in Chumey for a while - I waited for our internet connection to improve and in the meantime bit by bit we have transformed the empty bare apartment into our home.

The  house is actually bigger than our needs, which means we have two spare rooms! The bedrooms are so large that we decided we would all sleep in the same room which keeps us warm and we all feel secure together. One of our spare rooms has our 'junk' which isn't much! The other is our 'garage' and we store the pram there and Bob has set up a cricket set and a ten pin bowling game made out of toilet rolls for the boys to play!

Our living room with the bukhari as the focal point. The open door leads through to our bedroom.

Xavier and Remy woke all cuddled up together.
Our bedroom was so large it was big enough for all of us. We don't have wardrobes so we live out of our suitcases and Bob has put some screws in the walls to hang clothes from.

We have minimal furniture, but what we have we really appreciate after two months without. We only just received the table and benches from our landlord and it means we can sit at the table to eat and work on the computer. It is still lovely to sit on the rug by the fire and eat though, or read a book before bed.

Our dining table has a lovely view out the large window to the mountains. The kids have a toy box and mat to play on. The door leads out to our balcony where we dry our washing.

It is actually very nice to set up a home without all the clutter of all our possessions at home. You realise what is really necessary and what you can do without. The boys have a box of toys but nothing like we have at home and they still seem  content. At this point we could continue to buy things to fancy up our place but with a view to having to pack up at the end of the year in 9 months time, we will try to get by with what we have. As it is, we wonder what we will do with things at the end of the year, but already some teachers have their eye on some appliances!

Our kitchen with all mod-cons: 2L water boiler, rice cooker, toaster oven, and even a lovely red fridge.

Our pantry is always well-stocked with food we buy in Chamkar and Xavier and Remy's cousins will be happy to see we uphold the Chisholm family tradition of having a large range of cereals to choose from!

The main bathroom - which unfortuntely does not have hot water connected so we can't use the shower yet.

Our second bathroom doubles as our laundry (note fancy automatic washing machine!). The boys are surprisingly happy to be able to choose from the asian or western toilets!

One afternoon this week Bob and the boys walked down to meet me halfway home from school. There are only a couple of shops and we went to buy some groceries. It isn't wise to have too much expectation of what might be available - but be open to surprise.

You couldn't squeeze much more in!

You can buy everything from clothes, toiletries, groceries, vegetables and of course lollies all in the one shop!

Eggs are a mainstay of our diet and we've started buying them by the large tray. Here the shop owner wraps the eggs to carry home.

Whether I like it or not, the boys choose a lolly everytime from the colourful lolly jars.

Walking home with our purchases.

 Remy strikes a pose with his lollypop!

Some friends have asked for an update on how Bob is settling in to being a 'house-dad'. I think he is doing very well and is pretty happy with his life. If domesticity ever gets him down he thinks of what he might have been doing at the office if he was at home and feels grateful for the chance for a break from the 9-5 routine for a year. Far from being bored, I think Bob is discovering for himself what us mums already know - that there is barely a moment to do whatever it is you want to do for yourself in a day.

He takes care of our washing and keeping the house clean and tidy. He often makes lunch to bring down for us all to eat at school. In the absence of a ready supply of bread to make sandwiches, this often means making a curry and rice for the two of us while the boys eat a vegemite sandwich. He keeps a watch on what is available at the shops and makes sure we have the basics to keep us going. He goes to the milk processing factory to buy fresh milk and cheese and then has to boil the milk and clean the bottles before it can be stored. Every week or so he takes Remy for a long walk to the post office and back - the last three trips have been unfruitful - the post office has been closed even during working hours as the one employee is on leave.

A lot of time was spent setting up our home and liasing with the landlord and the Bhutan Telecom people, but now that those jobs are taken care of he is starting to develop some of his own projects which include: planning and designing a playground for the area outside our apartment building; designing a playground for the school and designing a waste disposal facility for the school. I think he seems quite energised reseaching these projects and drawing up plans late at night - it is good to have a diversion from housework!

As you can see we have settled into our new life and have fairly comfortable digs. All I am waiting for now is that hot water 'geyser' to arrive and it will be the icing on the cake!



  1. yes, it's lovely living without clutter (but I wonder whether you'll be glad to get your 'stuff' back at the end...) Obviously though, 11(?) boxes of cereal isn't considered 'clutter'!! ;) xx

  2. The place looks so nice, I love all the pictures! Please post some more if you get a chance :)