Saturday, 9 April 2011

worked it out

Think I have worked out what the smell is.  In some kind of vague spring-clean operation, a woman had been going around filling cracks and covering  the base of the whole estate in thick grey paint. And it stinks. Maybe its an anti-infestation thing, I have no idea (and I am trying really hard not to mention the slapdash nature of the work).

I still need to find out more about how the whole post-Soviet housing situation works. With privatisation in the 1990s I guess many people - at least those officially registered in Moscow - were just handed over their flats. But now, how is maintenance paid for? Here, its a bit rough, but it seems to happen; I have been to other places where the apartment interiors may be beautifully done up, but the hallways and stairs are almost in ruins. And the stories about buying a flat, only to get into the (often fraudulent) quagmire around who owns and/or is registered to that particular apartment, are completely terrifying.


  1. Poisonous paint season in my neighbourhood involves lurid green paint smeared over the fences and a coat of terrifying red on my front door. Looks like a horror film. Smells like chemicals left over from the 1950s.

    (no idea how maintenance is financed, but when my building changed the lock system, one of the owners took responsibility for the whole project; getting everyone's opinion, arranging the work, collecting the money etc.)

  2. I know that green! Not only smelly but also somehow a deeply unattractive colour, like you used to get in children's playgrounds.