Quite a bit has changed here in the Moscow dorms since I last attempted to describe them. By many things I mean that:
- we have taken it upon ourselves to decorate boring walls and doors (very nice, if I do say so myself),
- we now have a centralised wi-fi system (with a router that looks like a UFO), and
- the maintenance crew has worked hard on making some ‘home improvements’.
I admit, I don’t quite know whether to be pleased or concerned. You see, diary, I have a confession to make.
My usual energy consumption must have gone up exponentially since I have been back in Russia, because we keep on leaving the window open in an attempt to avoid melting into a puddle of goo.
Last term some *other* students
had a temper tantrum lobbied for a list of demands that ranged from the reasonable (we need assistance in finding ways to keep our rooms warm) to the unreasonable (we demand personal heaters and new staff that speak English). These students, which irritated me so much I even wrote an unpublishable rant, have I suppose, succeeded in some ways.
In the last two months there has been a new layer of isolation added in, a few windows have been re-sealed to reduce drafts, the heating has been turned up, and new heaters have been suspended from the ceilings at the ends of the corridors. This, plus the fact that the newly fixed kitchen hobs seem to be left on constantly, has increased the dorm temperatures to tropical conditions.
Add some drying laundry, and the illusion is complete.
Although I can’t believe it, we are sitting around in tank-tops the majority of the time, which is a very strange contrast when you look out the window and watch the snow falling. To top it off we were informed in the last few days that our rent prices are changing. Sure, you might say, all these new perks will cost you!
Surprisingly, though, our rent has now actually decreased- its about 1/4 of the previous monthly sum. Add this to the reduced worth of the rouble and I start to wonder what all the staff here will be living off of. Not to mention, where did all the funds for the home improvements come from?
Russia is crazy.