Apartment blocks

The USSR was a strange place to live. Everything was standardised, even building designs. Sometimes called “Soviet physical copy & paste”.

It has been strange for me, there have been times that I have visited a friends apartment and immediately known the layout and recognised the furniture and fittings – because of the time I have spent in Pripyat.

There is a great movie that describes the Soviet standardisation.  “Irony of Fate” – it is about a guy who is intending to celebrate New Year with his future wife in Moscow. He meets some friends and they head to a sauna, they are drinking to celebrate our guys upcoming wedding. However, in typical style they all drink too much and he passes out along with his friend, who was intending to travel to Leningrad. The remaining friends can not remember in their drunken state who was going to Leningrad, and put the wrong person on the plane.

Zhenya wakes up in the Leningrad airport, believing he is still in Moscow. He stumbles into a taxi and, still quite drunk, gives the driver his address. It turns out that in Leningrad there is a street with the same name (3rd Builders’ street), with a building at his address which looks exactly like Zhenya’s. The key fits in the door of the apartment with the same number (as alluded to in the introductory narration, “…building standard apartments with standard locks”). Inside, even the furniture is nearly identical to that of Zhenya’s apartment. Zhenya is too drunk to notice any minor differences, and goes to sleep.

The rest of the movie is absolutely brilliant. Here is the link to the movie if you want to watch it (with English subtitles)

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