Communal Living in Russia: Photos
Apartment VI. Common Areas and Rooms: Chart: Who gets to use the bathroom
  Times that each tenant can use the bathroom in the morning and evening are indicated on a chart. 2006.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: 2006

Where: A midsized apartment in the center of St. Petersburg.

What: The schedule for bathroom use was prepared on a computer and printed by one of the tenants. It is tacked to the top half of the door, where during a renovation (apparently far from recent) the glass was painted over with white paint.

The schedule covers periods of potential conflict: the morning, when everybody is on their way to work or school, and the evening. The rest of the time and on holidays there is no schedule.

As can be seen from the chart, five families live in the apartment. Nastya has her own room, and Liza probably bathes her child every day before bedtime.

It is interesting that everyone is listed by first name. Often in communal apartments, one person is listed by first name, another by family name, another by name and patronymic and so forth. The use of first names indicates that the tenants are of more or less the same age and social class. In periods when apartments were overcrowded, charts of this kind in large apartments covered the entire 24 hour cycle for the entire week and included times for doing laundry.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  Chart for using the bathroom


before 07:15 (Sveta, Sasha)
07:15 to 07:40 (Marina, Vlad, Lena)
07:40 to 08:10 (Nikolai, Irina)
after 08:10 (Nastya)


21.00 to 21.30 (Liza)
21.30 to 22.00 (Marina, Vlad)
22.00 to 22.30 (Sveta, Sasha)
22.30 to 23.00 (Nikolai, Irina)
23.00 to 23.30 (Nastya)

After 23:30 LATECOMERS

On holidays, the bathroom can be used at any time except for 21:00 to 21:30 (Liza)

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