Let’s establish, once and for all: home is the angular stone of a man’s life. Let’s consider this as an axiom: without a home, a man can’t even exist. Having said so, I have something to communicate to all those who live in Berlin, Paris, London, etcetera: in Moscow there are no apartments.
So, how could one live there?
And how do you think one can do…
And this is still nothing! During last three years spent in Moscow I’ve got convinced, in an absolutely definitive way, that people from Moscow have forgotten the meaning itself of the word “apartment”, and naively use this word to mean whatever. So, for instance, some time ago an acquaintance of mine, a journalist, received, right in front of my eyes a document “To the comrade so-and-so is assigned an apartment at street number 7 (where the typography is)” with signature and round and fat stamp on the top.
To the comrade so-and-so they have assigned and apartment, and one evening I went to visit the comrade so-and-so. On the stairs without banister someone had spilled a cabbage soup, while like a grass snake, a big frayed wire was hanging across. At the last floor, passing over a layer of broken glasses, coasting windows, on the half of which were nailed wooden boards, I found myself in a dark cavern without exit and I started screaming. At my scream a ray of light appeared, crossing I don’t know what I finally got my friend. Where did I entered? Something unbelievable. Something dark like a mine, divided by plywood partitions in five compartments, similar to big oblong hatboxes. In he middle hatbox was my friend, sitting on the bed, aside him his wife, and aside his wife the brother of my friend. She was reading Tarzan.
Those three were living in a telephone receiver. Try to imagine, you who live in Berlin, how would you feel if you had to live in a telephone receiver. The slightest whisper, the noise of a match falling onto the ground could be heard through all the hatboxes, and their was the one in the middle!
“Manja!” (from last hatbox).
“Yes?” (from the one in front of the last ).
“Have you got some sugar?” (from the last one).
“At the Lustgarden, in the center of Berlin, had place a demonstration of thousands of wokers with red flags” (from the close right).
“I’ve got some candies…” (from the one in front of the last ).
“You’re a pig!” (from the close left).
“We go together at 7.30!”.
“ Could you blow his nose, please?…”
After ten minutes it was a hell of a nightmare: I could not distinguish was I was saying from what I wasn’t, and my ear went on catching others’ businesses.
Chinese people, specialists in torture means, by comparison with this are greenhorns. I bet they wouldn’t be able to invent such a thing.
“And how it happened that you are here? … Ha! Ha! Ha! … The soviet delegation, accompanied by the delegation of Soviet colony, visited Karl Marx’s grave… So?! … Thake this!… I’ve already got it, thanks … With candies? … They go to hell … Pig! Pig! Pig! … Throw him out of the house! … And where do you live? … In Kyoto and Yokohama … don’t lie to me, don’t lie to me, beast, I know since long! … What, no toilets?”
My lord! I left, without loosing one second. They stayed, instead. I spent in total a quarter of an hour, they where already there since 7 (seven) months.
English translation from the italian edition by us. Please, comments and correction are welcomed…