What is a Russian or Ukrainian apartment like?
WATCH my tour of a Russian apartment…
Conditions of Russian apartments vary widely. If you’re in a “luxe class” (aka VIP, 1st class, Euro-remont) apartment, you’ll be very comfortable. In a “luxe” (short for ‘luxury’) apartment, the bathroom will ne nicely tiled, the kitchen well-equipped, the bed and furnishings all high quality, and so on. It’ll likely be a new building with an elevator, too. On the lower end – but still liveable – are the bulk of standard, Soviet style apartments. Everything is functional. It’s the best word I can describe them with. I shot a video as a Russian rental agent was giving me a tour of one such “functional” apartment. Check it out here…
I remember the first apartment I rented long term in Sevastopol. It was a one bedroom. Tiny kitchen. Gas stove. Decent fridge. Tiny table with two stools. No ‘insinkerator’ in the sink, so no scraps down the drain or it clogs up quick. Oh, and no dishwasher. Living room with old couch. Hole in the floor, the size of Shaquille O’Neal’s foot. (What Shaquille O’Neal was doing in the apartment can only be surmised.)
The bathroom was cramped, but functional. (There’s that word again.) Tiled, even. There was a washer, but no dryer. You hang the clothes out on the lines attached to your balcony. No A/C, but the windows open wide, and there is a door to the balcony, so air flow is big and brisk. And there’s only central heating. If they overheat in the winter, you open windows to regulate.
One time, my landlord came to calculate how much I owed in utilities. Grand total, for a month’s worth of electricity, gas and water came to a whopping $18. Anyway, we chatted for a while and he asked things like, How do you like the place?, How’s work?, that sort of thing. Then, as he was leaving, he turned serious and said: “By the way, if the cops come looking, you don’t know where I am. Got it?”
That’s a tad unsettling, but yes, I got it.
He started to explain, something about his pending divorce…”You know what,” I interrupted, “It’s none of my business. I don’t know where you live. Let’s leave it at that.”
Luckily, the cops never did come. But I was relieved all the same when I moved out a few months later.