01 December 2006

Souvenirs of Communism

You may think that it was in the past; but a careful eye will catch the remainders of a by-gone era just nearby...even in the houses.

This may look like a small window for your domestic birds to wander out and then back in (just like an upside down pet-door) but it is a SFLTG (Soviet Fuzzy Logic Temperature Gauge). It sounds pretty sophisticated but let me describe what it is for:

My loyal readers (if any) will remember my post about the central heating system of Moscow. The communist system delivered gas, heating and water (hotttt water!) to every living space. It is a miracle for this semi-frozen landscape but they have forgotten a small engineering trick: a tap to control the hot liquid flow into your apartment but "As every citizen is equal", every house must be at the same temperature!

Some may call it "Ergonomics/Human Factors disaster" or some "It is hooooooooooooooooooot!". And they must have gathered a Supreme Soviet Comission of politically correct Engineers and they must have made numerous meetings for a change in the heating design. (Some proposed designs even may have included a copy of Soyuz Space Module Thermostatic Design...) and this is what they came up to: Add a small window to let hot air out to cool the flat. INGENIOUS!! The evil capitalists would invest millions of evil dollars to invent a machine called air conditioner ; but we, the triumphant communists have devised a cheap, useful and politically correct invention.

Anyway, nobody dared to question the cost of the loss of energy...i think nobody cared. This is communism at its best...

So, don't ever ask about what may seem like a small and a useless window in a russian house. It is a SFLTG and it is a souvenir of Communism.

Note: This photo wasn't taken in my house. My house is gloriously redesigned with evil capitalistic values and my beloved landlord has changed the century old wooden frames with white plastic and dull ones. And they forgotten a SFLTG; and i have to let open a gigantic window to cool my flat in -30 blitzfreeze.


Anonymous said...

in Russian we call it fortochka (small opening window pane), so common in many flats here, funny that for many foreigners it seems strange :)and for sure that's used not for domestic birds :):)

Field Commander Dinc Arslan said...

спасибо! It is good to know what a SFLTG means in russian :)