Communal Living in Russia: Audio
Drunks and Drug Addicts: The drug dealer's visitors
  Summary
  A story about how the drug dealer's visitors beat up a neighbor.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: 1998

Where: A large communal apartment in a prestigious neighborhood in the historical center of St. Petersburg. About 20 people live in the apartment.

Who: S.A., born in 1934 and living in this apartment since 1944, making her the longest-term resident. She lives with her husband and son. Slava, S.A.'s husband. Stasik), a drug-dealer neighbor about 20 years old. Slava, the apartment drunk, described further in this selection from an interview). Ilya, doing the interviewing, an anthropologist who lives in a different apartment in the same building.

What: Drugs and the same young man are also discussed in this selection from the same interview.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  S.A.: Everybody was tense. What do I mean. For example, I wake up in the morning and there's horrible screaming in the hallway and they're banging at my door. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. "Open up!" "Bitch," they say to me, more in that vein. "What's going on," I say through the door. And I'm also thinking, since there are all these unknown people parading through the hallway all the time, and my husband leaves early, I tell him, "Slava, lock me in when you go." I'm still in bed, and suddenly... and so we have an agreement: he has his key, I have mine. If I weren't locked in, I would really suffer... from all of this.

So I say, "What's going on?" "Open up, open up the door." "Who are you looking for?" "Stas." I say, he doesn't live here, in this room, leave me alone. They go further down the hall. And suddenly I hear his mother screaming, don't touch him, leave him alone, you're going to kill him." They started to beat him up. For something or other he did.

And then that poor drunkard comes out, under the influence, and says, "What's this noise? People we don't know in the hallway again?" And he's a short man. So they started beating him up too. He says, I could barely get away and locked myself in the lavatory. And then Stas went into that fellow's room, took his tape player and handed it to those men. Anything so they would leave him alone, you understand? It's not enough that they nearly beat the hell out of him, out of that U—, they had to take his tape player too.

Ilya You didn't call the police?

S.A. Of course we did. There was a trial.

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