Communal Living in Russia: Documents
Notes Left for Neighbors: A notice about a broken shower
  A short announcement informing people about a broken faucet and shower.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: 2005

Where: A midsized apartment in the center of St. Petersburg.

What: Since only a few people (six or seven) live in this apartment and they all have different schedules, they sometimes communicate through notes or signs such as this one. This sign was written on a narrow strip of cardboard and put in the bathroom.

At first glance it would appear that the sign was written in order to warn residents that the faucet and shower are broken and must not be used. However it says nothing about not using them. Rather, the word "completely" is underlined; in Russian, it signifies something that is broken beyond repair.

Probably this is less a warning about a fact which is quite obvious than it is a reproach directed at people who break things and then depart, leaving whatever they have broken as is and making no effort to fix it.

Compare with the note in another apartment advising residents that the shower is new.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  The faucet is completely broken.

So is the shower.

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