Sunday, November 04, 2012

Camp Life (5): The Cells

The life in the camps resemble concentration camps, labour camps or Gulags, whichever you want to name it. Many might night be familiar with the last term. I am going to provide a little explanation here. Gulag in a Russian acronym for Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies or in case there are Russian readers: Гла́вное управле́ние исправи́тельно-трудовы́х лагере́й и коло́ний! Those labour camps where spreaded all across the former Soviet Union for almost 30 years. It is said that almost 1 millions were died as of the hard condition of those camps which were all closed in 1960.
Whether this these camp and the other similar camps will reach that death tool or not is a different question but the death of people would not be as a result of excessive hard labour, cold temperature and lack of food. It would be because of excessive smoking, old food contaminated with all sorts of preservatives and chemicals and obesity and it gradually kills the majority of the people who work there, lets say in the next 30 years!
Every building of the camp has three levels and every level has single rooms at both sides of course. These are small room with one single bed, a facet and sink, a wardroob, a small table and a small flat TV attached to the wall. At one side of you is a toilet and shower that you sahre with the next door guy and it works in this way that when you are using the bathroom/tiolet you luck his door from inside and when he or she is suing it, your is locked. The amount of noise is irritating but because it is not continious, it is not a bif problem.
On the other side you share a wall, avery thick one with your neighbour and in fact there is a very thick layer of drywall and cover is what separates your two beds! I had issues with both of the wall-to-wall neighbours. The first asshole would receive a telephone call every morning at 04:30 AM and we would be both up. Then he would put the damn TV on! He left after a week, I guess. The other fucker was a big quiet compare to the first one during the night and morning but talked a lot on the phone or with his friends very loudly. Basically people spend a little time in the rooms because just the feeling might make you sick. Some bring their laptops so can get busy in the room. The Internet service in the room is free compare to the 1 or two computers in the camp that you have to pay $6 an hour to use them! I don't believe anyone ever uses them. TV has good channels for the people are really into TV watching. I watched different programs while in there. Entertaining. The shower is so small that even for someone as small as me (only 5' 7" and very fat) is not comfortable to take a shower but I had to do that almost every day.
The entire building, I am nore sure if it is wood frame or what because it is only three levels, but is not sound proof. So when people are walking in their coridor you think that someone is going to step right in shortly! For all the above reasons sleepness is a big problem in the camp. Everyone I talked to said that he had not a good sleep the night before. When I got back to the town I calculated that I owed myself as many as 33 hours of sleep. For that reason I went to bed almost at 09:00 PM and sometimes sooner for the first week after my return!
(Photo: Inside the cell where the bed is. You can also see the table and window. The bedsheet is changed every week buy the housekeeping staff. It is highly recomanded to take your bed sheet, blanket and pillow case)

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