Monday, October 12, 2009

Photos @ Last! Part 3

Today's post will be about our Duma Apartment in downtown Moscow. In downtown Moscow it is very expensive to stay or live yet everywhere you look tall apartments abound (old deprecated ones, not new ones). Most of them host business on street level and the rest of the 12 or more stories are apartments where the 12 million residents stay.

Street level walk/drive way into courtyard outside our apartment. Notice all the new fancy cars despite this rundown apartment.

Stairway up to the grand and heavily guarded entrance to our apartment.

The grand entrance to our apartment. (the tan door with the magic Keyman lock.

The Keyman lock features what looks like a big watch battery that you touch to the round part on the Keyman console and it starts beeping meaning that for the next 10seconds you can open the door. I've paniced a few times when I pulled the plastic Keyman magic key from my pocket and the watch battery had fallen out of the holder in my pocket.

Right inside the grand entrance is the hall to the stairs or elevator. The elevator is another story. The stairs are littered with jars that look like they were left there 23yrs ago by some resident who couldn't carry them further up the stairs. The stairs are splattered with tomatoes.

The graffiti sprayed and dirty windows on the way up the stairs to the apartment.

The 36" x 39" Otis elevator in our apartment. Try fitting a stroller, four adults and another active kid into this thing, not possible so we always let one or 2 adults take the stairs rather then way for the elevator to return down to pick up remaining party. Today Drew was not leashed to an adult and when we all reached floor 6 where we reside Drew had already ran up the stairs and reached the seventh floor before I caught up with him. I was tired and didn't think it at all funny but he thought it was hilarious.

Stairways up to apartment. Everything looks like inner city slum and is filthy to booth.

The leather-clad heavy steel door into our apartment, the last level of security from intruders or stragglers.

The bible-era key that is used to open the door into our apartment. I'm certain this is the key that was used when Paul was imprisoned in the bible.

The closet with our bath tub and sink. The closet with the toilet is on the other side of the apartment so washing your hands requires walking to other side of the house.

Our well furnished kitchen where babushka (Mary Basel) cooks up our meals. We have a (left to right) range stove top burners with baking oven underneath, a dishwasher and a clothes washer and dryer, a big dish washing sink, tea kettle and a microwave.

Dadushka (Ben Vetter) playing with Drew after mealtime. I think Mary Basel is making dumpling soup here, while Jen is holding Demitri "hold me" Wipf. Notice the chair laying on the floor, its a speed bump to slow fast moving traffic entering kitchen area when babushka (Mary Basel) is working with hot pots and appliances. These guys are used to heaping bowls of porridge so thats what we feed them here. If I ate that much porridge I'd start braying like a donkey.

Our own personal office with oscillating fan, heater, computer (even has 17" LCD monitor and high speed internet), The workstation Windows 2000 PC we have for internet and email is so slow it wont play anything interactive, just display text and images. A computer chair (dumps you off if you go to far to one side because seat is broken off of stem.) The computer is quite slow and Ben Vetter has had issues trying to get MYOB working on it. (LOL!)

The toilet is in a closet so small that if you go in and want to close the door you can't turn around, so its easier to just back in and sit down then close door.

This is my bedroom. The TV is only good for drying towels because it only has one channel and thats in Russian. To hasten drying of the towels simply turn on TV and mute sound. They only use one mattress on their beds here, I think its to save money. One room has the box spring while the adjacent room has the top mattress from the set.

The boys bedroom. It even has a crib for Demitri. His crib gets moved from room to room depending on his moods throughout the day. For example if everyone is going for siesta, his crib is in the kitchen, furthest away from all our bedrooms. During the night it may be in his bedroom, in the hall (as not to awake Drew and start over the entire process of madness of putting them to sleep again) or even in his own bedroom depending on pomp and circumstance.

The hallway/gym/driveway/parking space for Demitri's crib leading into our apartment.

Right at the end of the stairs leading up to our apartment is this building where you see people entering. For the entire week of our stay I thought it was the utility building for our apartment as it has no windows, no signage on door etc. Today, as I was leaving the apartment I saw women come out carrying shopping bags and I followed some women inside to discover to my utter amazement that its a tiny (10ft by 16ft) grocery store for the people in this apartment. They have sausage, cheese, bread, milk, beverages etc in there.

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