If you ever wondered how small provincial towns in central Russia look like - here you go! This is Yelets, where I grew up, it's 5h away from Moscow, and, as you can see - it's not always cold and snowy! We also go around in t-shirts and dying from heat in summer.
This town is very old - 870 years. I've realized it's a lot, travelling in South America, where most cities didn't even exist 300 years ago! Of course, it has been burned down many times, being a protection for Moscow in wars, but in the center there are still a lot of old traditional houses from wood and with crafted windows.
I lived in a flat though, called Hruschevka, because it was built in the ruling times of Hruschev, and had a particular layout - intenstine-like, as we say )) Usually, those flats were in 5-blocks apartment buildings, and, guess what - my grandma earned it by volunteering, you can say, jaja! Together with other people from her factory she worked few hours a day on construction of this building to get a flat for free! Seems like life in Russia was way much better organized in 60s =) Benches is another attribute of traditional life in province. They are the memorial for gossips and most operative local news media. Mums of small kids and grandmas gather on these benches every day in any weather, eating sunflower seeds, and talking about everything: bad husbands, reckless youth, hard life in present and good life in the past. I guess, that was one of the reasons, I wanted to leave the town so bad - I didn't want to be discussed and looked after.
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