Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Russian Apartment Tour

Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia

I can't believe it has taken me this long to do a post like this. Well, when I first moved in it took me a while to get acclimated to the new place. Then, soon after, I got a roommate. I wanted to respect his privacy and his things, so taking pictures of my apartment was never something on my list. Recently, he moved out, and I'm living here alone. It got me thinking that I really should do an apartment tour, especially since I have my (5) Christmas decorations up!

These first two pictures are my entry way. This apartment is a Stalinka, meaning, you guessed it, it was built during the Stalin era. Characteristics of this home are large windows, thick walls, and high ceilings. It stays pretty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There is no elevator in this apartment, but there are only 4 floors, and I live on the second so I can't complain.



The first room is my bedroom, and, yes, that is a rug on the wall. Actually, for the first year my room was in the living room (my choice when my roommate moved in). In May, he asked if we could switch rooms, and I've had this room since. The apartment came furnished when I moved in, so most of what you see is not mine, but I did bring along a few things, like the dog I bought in Mexico. There were also some Harry Potter books that were here when I moved in. I was so excited when I saw them. I wish I could understand Russian!

The next room is the living room (my old bedroom). The couch pulls out into a nice big bed. When I first moved in the women who picked me up from the airport pulled out the bed and set it up for me, so the first few weeks I was in this room. I think I chose it as my bedroom because it was somewhat comforting for me. Now, that I've lived here for over a year, I don't mind just keeping this room as a living room. I wish it wasn't so expensive to come to Russia because I'd welcome you all to stay here!

The next few pictures are of the hallway. I tried my best to give you a good understanding of the layout. When you walk in the front door you look straight into the living room. To the right of the living room is my bedroom door. If you are standing in the doorway of my bedroom, with your back to it, you look straight into the kitchen. On the left you have two doors for the bathroom, and on the right you have a door for the third room. It's locked because it's my landlady's room, but this apartment is three rooms. It's actually a pretty big apartment for Russian standards.

My bathroom is pretty strange. It's broken up into two rooms. One room has the shower, sink, and a washing machine. The other room is just the toilet. This is common in Russia but definitely strange. I prefer everything in one room because I hate having to go into another room to wash my hands. You might think, "Well, you can go to the bathroom when the other person is in the shower," but you can't flush the toilet until they get out. String hangs from the ceiling like a clothes line so I can hang my clothes to dry. It's really convenient to have. 
The last room is my kitchen, and it's my favorite room in the house. The bedroom and living room look out into a parking lot. I like the way my apartment is set up because even though it looks out into the parking lot, it's not a big parking lot and there are trees that keep it feeling private. However, outside of the kitchen is a grassy area. You can see other apartments and a street, but they aren't very close. Pigeons come to the windows a lot to hang out. The kitchen is also the brightest room in the apartment, so it always puts me in a good mood.
When I first moved in my director kept asking me if it was okay because apparently it wasn't up to American standards. It's definitely old and the decor isn't my own choice, but I loved that it had a homey feeling. The newer apartments feel so cold and bare. This apartment is also in a pretty good location, so I can't complain about that either.

What do you think of the apartment tour?

23 comments

  1. yay, I'm so excited to finally see your apartment! It's so cute! Is this pretty common feel for the older Russian apartments? Also, I love your Christmas decorations.

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    1. Yeah, I think so. I haven't been to many apartments and the ones I go to are rich people's.

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  2. Definitely huge by Moscow standards, but I actually love how it looks! You're so lucky not to have a stenka and all that heavy furniture - it seems practically light and airy compared to some of the places I've been!

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    1. The furniture, especially in the bedroom, is beautiful. I love the couch too, it's really comfortable. It's almost too big for me.

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  3. I love it! Is it strange that I expected something more...sad?

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    1. HAHAHA! Well, the outside definitely looks sad.

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  4. I love your place! Fantastic light!!

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    1. Right?! There are so many cool little cubbies and lights.

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  5. It may not have the typical "American standards," but it does have that Soviet era feel to it with the old wooden wall panels and the cinder block kitchen walls. How cool is that!

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    1. Right? I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else while in Russia. :)

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  6. Hooray, thank you for sharing this, Jasilyn!!! :) I love your apartment!

    Does the school cover your rent or do you have to pay for it? What's the internet connection like in your apartment? What are your neighbors like? Is there a babushka brigade that hangs out in front of the building? Do you have one of those workout areas out front? So many questions, haha ;)

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    1. No, I have to pay for my own rent. :( But luckily my landlady is very understanding is works with me when I can't afford it.

      The internet is really good here, and cheap! I don't really know my neighbors (STILL) but the ones above me are really loud and their kids run back and forth at 11 pm. There isn't a babushka brigade here, but there is a woman (almost babushka age) who walks her dog and apparently knows all the gossip. We don't have a work out area, but Anton does!

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  7. I spent a labourious I can't remember how long trying to improve my Russian by reading the first Harry Potter book. Not sure it was entriely successful. Not much call for magical terminology in everyday life. Hafe switched to cheap romances instead.

    I like Stalinka's. The rooms are so big! That's a great dressing table too.

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    1. Yeah, that's true. I don't know how often I'll have conversations about wizards. I need something to get me to improve my barely existent Russian.

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    2. Harry Potter - it's exactly no everyday vocabulary :)
      But it sounds strange for me that you have any difficulties with the study of the Russian language.
      As I have understood from your blog, you have a Russian boyfriend, Russian colleagues and a lot of Russian friends. They do not want to help you?
      In any case, if you have any questions about the language you can ask me to: stranger@atrus.ru skype: sergej7660

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    3. I actually have a tutor now, but a lot of people want to practice their English so it's hard to speak Russian. :(

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    4. Lol :)))
      Your story has reminded me another one.
      In Russia is living an interesting American, he is an Indian from Lacota tribe, his name is Justin Irwin. He moved to Russia with his Russian wife in 2010. They live in a village Slavtsevo, Vladimir region.
      This man wants to get a Russian citizenship, but for it he has to learn Russian in some extent and to take special exam. He cannot have learnt Russian because, as he said, this language too complex and he have no talent for languages learning.
      His wife complained that her husband want not to learn Russian himself, in addition all people around, instead to talk to him in Russian and to force to learn it such way, are talking in English to practice it. Even district store’s sellers have remembered English school lessons and talk to him in English.

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    5. Yeah, it's a complicated language. :( Most of what I can say I just learned from stores and restaurants.

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  8. Replies
    1. Haha! Actually the armoire in my room came from Romania or something during the Soviet period!

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  9. Well done, well structured post, like it!
    I'm from Ufa, but live in other country now and this post actually reminds me Russia :)
    So i feel sad little bit, but this is what we have in average...

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  10. It was very curiously to read about your surprise relatively the bathroom. And it is understandable.
    US housing standard for a family living - several rooms and several bathrooms.
    In Soviet apartments there was only one bathroom.
    And yes, you guessed :)
    If it was separated, a toilet and bath could be used at the same time.
    So those apartment that had it separated was considered as more convenient for family.
    If bathroom have everything in one room, it is called in Russian “совмещённый санузел»; a separated variant – «раздельный санузел».

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    1. I grew up in a house with one bathroom and the toilet wasn't separated. You can make it work. :) I didn't know there were two different names! Thanks for sharing.

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