Ilya: There are a lot of original things in this room. This is from right after the October revolution. No, after the February one, but before October, I suspect. These locks, and this door. I'm opening the door; it's pretty much an antique; it's scraping the floor.
Ilya: The courtyard is completely different now. There used to be two enormous poplars which filled the space, first of all because of their poplar fluff in June, and second because of the wild cawing of crows that had their nests there. Both of these poplars were cut down. And this balcony here seemed large to me.
Ilya: On the ceiling you can see the traces of partitions. Here was one partition that had a door in it, and here was another one. First it had a curtain in it; then they put up a door. Of course originally there wasn't anything here, no partitions at all, this was just one big room. It was home to six or seven of my relatives.
Ilya: The way it was supposed to work was, in order to put up a partition you had to write a formal request, in order to get permission. Imagine the situation: you are living with your husband, you have a child, and so forth. And then the two of you divorce. Your husband has his life and you have yours. The only thing dividing you is a screen. You need a partition. But you need permission, and it has to be by mutual agreement. Now, it could be that your husband wants a partition and you don't, and he dreams of building what he calls a domestic barrier. A domestic defense wall, that's a partition. He has to get permission to put it up and to ask for materials... there are rules that say what it can be built of. It can be, maybe, cardboard, maybe wood, whatever; all of this has to be indicated. An engineer has to sign and approve it.
Ilya: Okay, goodbye, Sveta! Nice to see you!
Ilya: All the best! Thank you! You're probably cold!
Ilya: That door over there is our service entrance. You remember that dirty back staircase? Here's its door. And right there, there used to be a collection point for empty bottles. Empty beer bottles, vodka bottles, well, milk bottles also. Children were let out to play in the courtyard, and mothers would yell from their kitchen windows: Come home right this minute!