Shed Culture in USSR / Russia
Shed in the USSR is a holy cause.
Everything began in the early 60-s. That time the USSR Council of Ministers approved organization of shed cooperative on the pattern of house-hold cooperative. There appeared more and more cars, more thefts of mirrors, screen-wipers, windscreens and wheels and also cars. That all spoiled the looks of socialistic lifestyle and make life of law enforcement bodies miserable. Moreover local authorities didn't allow long-term parking near the houses. People had to go through many circles of hell to get a license from district executive committee to build a shed, to find a land and to get it as a cooperative property for unlimited use or at least for 49 years! And moreover to register, to start building, to provide labor force and materials and then to bring it to final result is a special deal. However shed cooperative began to appear everywhere and not so far away from apartment houses with car owners living there: among shareholder there were always people having orders and medals, which could not be refused politely and sometimes even bothersome retirees -it was better to give them what they ask for. These citizens boosted the appearance and functioning of shed cooperatives in the USSR.
Soviet shed as an entertainment and hobby
Finally the shed is built of white brick with pit and cellar. No, it was not only a building of bricks to keep and repair a personal car. It was the second house for weekend for a man and a real escape from daily routine. As the weekend came the man had a breakfast and started getting ready.
- Where are you going? - asked his hommies
- Into shed - was the respond
And no questions anymore
The biggest part of free time many car owners spent in the shed. It was the main entertainment. Not only entertainment but also a hobby, because there were always things to do in a shed:
- to make a tool rack
- to go into cellar to check the dampness or potatoes inside
- to clean the pit - to throw out the garbage
- to fix, to repair, to paint smth and etc. Lastochka produced by Soviet factory also always needed to be cared of. Whereas 21-st Volga were high quality cars (that didn't exclude breakage because of roads condition), Moskvich always needed some repair. So there was always something to do in the shed.
If the car was laid up for repairs, accidentaly gathered a concilium where in the result of common discussion they found the cause of breakage and the way to remove it. Moreover one of shed mates could have the necessary part, which was not so easy to buy. The part was installed and the car was ignited, after that the owner of a reborn car drove few circles and then went to the shop to buy alcohol and food. Because he needed to express his thanks.
In the USSR the shed was also a kind of a men club. Shed owner knew each other, many of them worked in the same organization, so they had always a topic to discuss. Suddenly appeared simple food and something to drink.
They set up either in the street dressing so-to-say improvised table on smb's car's bonnet or drunk. And if it started to rain they went in smb's shed, there were an old sofa, a couple of chairs and a shaky table.
They spoke about life, told funny stories, discussed the latest models of cars. And then suddenly came evening. And a man fully relaxed and released from tense routine week came back home in a nice mood.
He was not often abused because of alcohol smell. Because he didn't hang out but he was in a shed. And the shed in the USSR is holy.
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