10 things found in a typical Russian Flat

The following applies to most typical flats, not a new Russian or Evro(euro)-remonted flat.

1)  Carpet on the wall, floor, or both.

Having lived in a few flats with this feature I must admit to liking it.  Maybe it makes the flat warmer, acts as insulation or sound proofing, decoration ?

2) Half empty bottle of vodka in the fridge.

For medicinal purposes, whatever they are.

3) Russian religious Icons – Iconka.

Doesnt matter if the people never go to church, they will have some iconka just to make sure they are covered.

4) Numerous pairs of slippers

Tapachki, for guests, remember you MUST take your shoes off immediately upon entering a Russian flat, otherwise you will be very sorry  !

5)  The exact same kitchen table and chairs as found in every other Soviet era flat.

I’m not joking. I have often visited somebody, sat down in their kitchen and realised that their furniture is exactly the same as in my flat.  Its amazing just how much Soviet furniture is still in use.

6) Divan (couch/settee) that converts into a bed.

Almost every sofa in Russia seems to come with this handy additional feature. Yes, your couch can quickly be opened to reveal a full size mattress and bed. Handy for those drunken vodka parties ? Was this feature mandated by the Soviet furniture authorities ?

7) Gas cooker.

Often used with all four burners on full blast for extra background heating.  Can also be switched on (though not lit) by your drunken neighbor before he passes out unconscious on the floor.

8) Balcon (Balcony) stuffed full of never used junk.

ie skis, baby sleigh, random pieces of wood and plasterboard, tool kits, strange empty glass jars.

9) Cat litter tray in the toilet.

Now your average Soviet era flat already has a small narrow toilet, just big enough for the average Brit or American to stand up in.  The kitty litter tray ensures that you definitely dont have enough room to turn around.

10) Bathroom/Washroom.

Ahh the joys of Russia.  In England a bathroom is just a bathroom.  A place where you take a bath/shower, wash your face etc.  Not in Russia. The Bathroom is also the place where the clothes washing is done.  The bathroom is usually the size of two bathtubs placed next to each other exactly. You will notice either a modern slim line washing machine or a ancient plastic Soviet era waste of space washing machine, numerous bowls, pans, washing lines.  These will be cunningly placed to ensure maximum discomfort whilst you attempt to get into the bath.

Any further suggestions are most welcome !


  1. put that vodka in the freezer! and it is never half empty – either unopened or gone – who drinks only half a bottle?

    dont forget books, lots and lots of books.

  2. You are absolutely right.
    of course, the books, they are everywhere. Am I staying in a library or what ?

  3. DR SACHIN says:

    also one switch (not electrical) in main room and in kitchen into which you only have to insert the plug from a speaker box and a radio ( with fix frequency ) starts…(it’s from Communist time)
    another one more thing…Window Thermometer installed at outer side of window to see the exact temperature…

  4. And LOTS of cockroaches… Yes its sad but true.

  5. Cockroaches???!! where you see the cockroaches?? No one cockroach in the flats there.

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