Communal Living in Russia: Documents
Notes Left for Neighbors: Sign announcing a new shower
  A piece of paper taped next to the shower tells people to be careful with it.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: 1997

Where: The bathroom of a large communal apartment in a prestigious neighborhood in the center of Petersburg.

What: A piece of paper from a pad is taped on a tiled wall next to a shower. Soon it will get wet and have to be removed.

Why does the obvious fact that the shower is new need commentary? Why is it that a new shower must be used carefully? A warning that something might go wrong if the shower is not used carefully would be more logical if the shower had been old and about to fall apart.

The shower was broken for a long time. It couldn't be fixed, because people couldn't collect the money. When they did, they did not buy a good shower and mixer, but the very cheapest (people would not chip in for good ones). So it is obvious from the start, that if it is used heavily, in a short time it will have to be fixed again.

The neighbor who took it on herself to collect the money and get the shower and mixer installed uses this note to reproach everybody else for negligence and laziness.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  Shower is
with care

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