Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Neighbors, New Doors

In mid-October I got new neighbors. They bought the apartment next door to me. The biggest effect so far is that we got new doors on our hallway! (Really, those who have lived in a Russian apartment building may understand my excitement at any household improvements.) My hallway has 2 doors leading to our floor's 2 elevators (one working, one eternally out of order) and the stairwell. Apparently the new neighbors were very disappointed with the hallway's appearance generally and the draft situation -- it gets very cold in the winter, as the hallway is not heated, plus there are cracks in the windows, and the doors blocking off the hallway from really cold places like the stairwell don't close well. So, they paid to have new doors put in! They are really spiffy and look super.
This is one of our new doors, leading from the elevator to our hall. It even has a peephole. It isn't squeaky or rusty or anything.

This used to be our door. And this is the door on the other hallway on my floor -- what our door used to look like. Since people almost always own their apartment in Russia, and don't rent, there isn't one person (a landlord) who looks after the building. So that means common areas like hallways, doors and windows in hallways, elevators, stairwells, etc. often aren't in great shape. It is certainly very rare for an individual apartment-owner to pay out of pocket to improve these areas.

Fall continues to be beautiful in Vladivostok! This is a view of the Amur Bay (Pacific Ocean) and the First River area, including where I live, from the hills above.

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