At some point in the ?80s I noticed an unusual increase in the number of rats. I was once waiting for the metro and saw two or three of them in between the rail lines with their eyes fixed on us.
The garbage can cabin on every floor of our block of flats is a miniscule room. In principle, there should be a door separating the cabin from the hall, and each lodger should have his or her key to this door. In practice, in most blocks these doors were left open and often lacked handles, so that every gush of wind banged them in and out.
There is a mammoth tube running down through each of these cabins and its opening should be covered by a slid. The slid was often missing, too.
Sometimes, especially in wintertime, these small cabins sheltered the misers over night. When you came home late in the evening and passed by the garbage cabin in the dark of the hall, you could easily step on someone.
The uncovered garbage tube was also a source of bugs and rats. Once we heard about a woman who got bitten in the cheek by a rat that jumped on her when she went to throw away the garbage. (90)
In daytime there was no gas in the gas cooker. In order to cook for my family, I had to stay up all night when there was gas. At work we asked one another: ?What did you cook last night?? On New Year?s Eve, we boiled the aspic since 11 PM until it was done. Then we took it to our room where the temperature (6-7 degrees Celsius) was just perfect for it to freeze. There was no need to put it in the refrigerator, the bedroom was an ideal freezer.