I live in Voroshilovskiy (pronounced “vara-shil-off-ski”) district to the south of the central district. It is on the main arterial road through the riverside part of Volgograd, in the central district it is called Prospekt Lenina but in Voroshilovskiy it is called Ulitsa Raboche-Krestyanka. I thought “Krestyanka” might be something to do with Christians, but no, it means peasants. This is “The Street of Workers and Peasants”.
My building is the standard 5-story Khruschyoby model (buildings resulting from a policy by Premier Khruschev in the 50s and 60s). There are commercial premises at the front, and entry to the domestic premises above is at the rear. Each building has about 6 access stairways with 3 dwellings on each floor, so that’s about 90 dwellings per block, plus the shops on the ground floor.
Shop fronts here are a bit hit and miss, there are very few big glass windows outside the central district, and sometimes the signage is very generic (handy for tourists) just saying things like “Shop” or “Produce” or “Confectionary” or even “Milk” or “Meat.” There are other shops which have a name but little clue as to what their line of business is unless you actually go into the shop, sometimes up or down a flight of stairs. There are supermarket chains – EVERYWHERE – mainly Magnet, Man and Radezh. The larger “Man” stores are called “Superman.”
I recently discovered that what I thought was a distribution depot for Magnet was actually a hypermarket – a proper UK-style big supermarket, with rows of checkouts, automatic doors, big wide aisles – very different from the pokey little Magnet shops in the khruschyoby. It is close to the office I work at the most, and is a lot cheaper than the Radezh over the road from my home, so it is becoming my first choice shop of choice.
I should also mention there are lots of little stalls – some of the boulevards are wide enough to build these in = most of them are either kiosks selling magazines or pancake or shawarma sellers. But there are also ones which sell flowers, dairy products, fresh bread, confectionary, fruit and vegetables, even little general stores.
Opposite my building there is an old factory. One of my work colleagues thinks it used to be a cereal factory but doesn’t think it is still in use. There is a statue in front of the factory, when I see this statue I know it is time to tell the driver to stop when I am travelling home on the marshrutka from Sovetskiy.
Many of the marshrutka have the word “Tulaka” on their chassis, for a long time I did not know what or where that was, but I have since learned that it is the small district (not Rayon-sized) at the south end of Voroshilovskiy where many of the bus and marshrutka routes end. The route I use, 15c sometimes detours through Tulaka and sometimes drives straight past it.
Two new buses have started going up and down Raboche-Krestyanka and Prospekt Lenina, the 65 and the 35. They are new and clean and shiny. The 65 takes the same detour to Dzherzhinsky that the 10 and 15 take, while the 35 seems to head straight down towards Tractorniy. I haven’t seen a number 15 trolleybus for a long time and I wonder if these services have replaced it. The 10 and the 8a continue as reliably as ever, although from New Year’s Day the price has gone up from 15 roubles to 20 roubles, and instead of rolls of tickets all the conductors now have fancy hand-held machines that print tickets out.
I was coming back from Radezh today when the snow clearance trucks came past. There are about 10 of them in formation, shifting the snow off the centre of the road and leaving a nice pile of slush at the side of the road. Loads of traffic had built up behind them. We have had a lot of snow in the last few days (temperatures have been -15 to -20 C) and I have seen a lot of municipal workers out doing their bit to clear it, people of all working ages.
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