This powerful bulb with its reflector was put in so at least there would be light to cook with. In the kitchen on the floor beneath us they don't have anything like this and it's unpleasant; here it's a lot lighter. Here there's more light. We're a little higher up. So it's more pleasant.
Slawomir: What's it like in the winter? How is it heated?
Ilya: It's warm because there are radiators here. The only problem is that these windows aren't very good. The frames are old, and there are drafts. So we have to plug them up. And over there the glass is broken, so… Good afternoon!
Ilya: The heating bill is part of the rent. I think that every month for the room, the gas, and the heat they pay around 900 rubles. It depends on the size of the room. It could be less. Plus they pay for electricity. Here are the names of the tenants; here are the meter readings: new readings, old readings. If we subtract the old reading from the new one we get the difference: how many kilowatt-hours of electricity have just been used. For the private rooms, that number is 642. For common rooms, 208. This sum is divided among the rooms in proportion to the number of people in each room, and after that the payment is calculated.
Ilya: In addition, in addition there's the payment for the telephone. Here's what they owe in total for the telephone: 300 rubles. It's divided by the number of people who use the telephone. And then there's a general sum to collect from everybody. Here for some reason they had to collect 70 rubles for something in the apartment: maybe a faucet was fixed or something was bought. And these 70 rubles are divided up. If a room has four people, they owe twenty. Where there's one person, they pay five. And that's how the monthly payment gets calculated.
Ilya: And over here is the chart of who's on duty when. Every week somebody is on duty, somebody is responsible for maintaining cleanliness in the apartment. Usually that gets divided this way: if you have a family of three, you serve three weeks; if there are two of you, say a husband and wife, then you serve two weeks.
Ilya: Being on duty means that you sweep the floor in the corridor and the kitchen, you wash the floor here as necessary, usually maybe two or three times. Nowadays people take the garbage out themselves; it used to be that the person on duty took it out, took it out for everybody. And now everybody carries out their own bags. It used to be, when there wasn't linoleum here, if you look here under the linoleum you can even see it, there was parquet. And the parquet would be polished. With floor polish. Polishing the floor was part of the job. In addition, the person on duty has to maintain cleanliness in the bathroom and the lavatory also.
Ilya: Here there used to be... Basically this is the exit to the back staircase. There used to be two garbage pails here, general ones, belonging to the apartment. Do you remember the pails here, Auntie Asya?
Auntie Asya: Yes I do.
Ilya: The person on duty had to carry these pails out. This closes on a hook, right? I'm unhooking it, and now we are coming out onto the back staircase.
Ilya: Over here there were other pails, belonging to a number of apartments; these were for food scraps, that's where you would throw away bits of food. Well, now this is all gone. Now that system of separating garbage doesn't exist any more. And here's something very new: antenna feeds. Cats always lived here and they still do.
Ilya: Nobody really uses this back staircase anymore. Maybe somebody uses it to take out garbage… It's dirty, and there are homeless people and cats living here. Now it's not so bad, it used to be that the district policeman would be afraid to come up because the stairs were full of excrement. From people and from cats.