Lena: Take your coat off, you're going to talk. They'll take this off me [the microphone] and put it on you.
Marina: Have you been talking for a long time?
Lena: Really long. We've had tea.
Marina: Got it. Good.
Lena: They're taking pictures of our stove. Here, take these slippers. And there are also some white ones over there.
Marina: So many slippers.
Ilya: Marina, good evening!
Marina: Good evening!
Lena: Let me turn on the light.
Marina: The reason I really like living here is that the houses are so varied. The architectural styles are all mixed up. And the people. When you go to the new districts, the way people look, it's like they are masked for me, or I just can't understand them. Here there's a different mentality, I'd say. A different spirit.
Marina: How did I get to this apartment? We'd been living in our own apartment, in one of the new housing districts, I think, we were living, where was it, Kupchino, I think, then we were on Demyan Bedny Street, and then we came here. Mama left me here in this room and went with my stepfather to get our things. There was a deep echo here. It scared me, and I was thinking like what is this, what on earth is going on here, and I went to meet the neighbors. They invited me in, I think they even gave me tea, I mean, they were very nice to me from the start. When everything was fixed up, I lived in this little compartment. You probably filmed it already.
[Main room and walled-off "compartment."]
Ilya: We didn't go in, but we saw it.
Marina: So I had my desk there, and I slept there, and in fact I spent pretty much my whole adolescence there. That was my study, my space, and really nobody else could come in. So it was all mine. I loved to invite my girlfriends. We even played a lot of pranks. So. Well, not malicious ones, of course.
Ilya: What kind of pranks?
Marina: Well, like we had one neighbor living here, he's gone now. An older man, now I understand that he was an older man, but he was a little mean. So we were bad. We stomped our feet in front of his room, I mean, the girls, we went past his room stomping our feet... What else could we have thought up? I mean, all our pranks were like that.
Marina: Absolutely all the kids who went to School 70 lived in kommunalkas. I don't think there was anyone who lived in a private apartment. Everyone was from a kommunalka, and everyone lived nearby. As for people with a separate apartment, I think that one girl lived in one, I think she was the only one like that. I remember her last name: Kravchenko. Natasha Kravchenko, I think her father was in the military. They had a separate apartment somewhere on Kamennoostrovsky. And the way we looked at it, she wasn't one of us. Now that old man who we were stomping at, and his daughter, who was really mean, they moved away...
Lena: That's not true. Pasha Davidovna was a good person.
Marina: But we, the young people, we thought she was mean. She hardly ever got us when someone called on the phone, and she bawled us out. And... I mean, she was very strict and that... she restricted our freedom.
Ilya: She bawled out the children?
Marina: Yeah, she liked to teach us a lesson.
Lena: She was strict. What do you expect?
Marina: Sometimes in the morning you'd go into the kitchen, and she's got this awful expression on her face. You think: what did you forget to do, what was it? You didn't sweep the floor, you didn't wipe the table, or... Maybe she was just thinking her own thoughts... So I was kind of scared of her... She restricted my freedom and I didn't like it... She used to say things like "Of course this is none of my business, Marina, but... " and she'd give me her advice. How a woman should act, how to cook, how to deal with men.
Lena: In the room I showed you, next to Sveta's, we had some very interesting people.
Marina: They were alcoholics.
Lena: They were alcoholics, but they were quiet alcoholics. They were very cultured alcoholics.
Marina: I'm not bothered by the sound of my neighbors' footsteps in the hallway: if it's the heels of their shoes or something else. I feel good when people come in, I know that the apartment will fill up, I mean, like it is in a family. You know, when there's a husband, a wife, and a child, and when one of them isn't around, there's a feeling of anxiety, and when everyone's back, it feels good. That's the way it is here. That is, like one big family. The way it works, you don't feel embarrassed coming out in a nightgown and robe. Even...
Lena: Your mother likes to do that.
Marina: Yes, okay, my mother likes to do that. I mean nobody is offended by that, nobody feels insulted. Of course if an outsider tried it, everybody would be shocked, that would be, it would be indecent. We transmit these things, we transmit them pretty strongly, like, "careful," "pay attention," "don't make things difficult for others," "you really shouldn't use the phone after eleven, but if you do, then you have to run as... very quickly to the telephone, so that... Somebody needs their rest," and so forth.
Lena: Well, it's like a commune, you can look at it that way, right? People are living a communal life.
Marina: So there are these rules, and if a newcomer breaks them, then people will let him know about it pretty quickly.