Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Russian "troubleshooting"

Too many late nights, so I won't write a lot today. This will be a photo post. I am trying to start carrying my camera around again.

Our entranceway could belong to almost any building in this city. This article sums it up well. Our particular building layout features a heavy door, followed by another doorway, followed by half of a flight of stairs. The first landing has the first 4 apartments, with an information display on the wall, then the single tiny elevator, and another 1/2 of a flight of stairs up to the mailboxes. After that it continues with the double flights of stairs. The apartments/elevator landings alternate with landings that have openings for the garbage chute.

Getting back to that entrance...notice that it's not handicapped-accessible. Very few buildings are! Yet the custom for any family with a baby is to take the child out in a huge stroller for at least 2-3 hours a day! Do you think a little staircase is going to stop them? Judging from the view from my kitchen window, those mothers (and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers) have figured out how to navigate the elevators and stairs and heavy doors pretty well.

So how did we do it? Well, we didn't! Poor David only got "walked" when his grandmother was over or when his mother and father were really on top of their game and his father helped everyone get outside. I think I got to the point where I could make it down the stairs, but not back up. Forget going to any stores-same situation with the stairs, and the aisles aren't really big enough anyway. Now we have a lighter stroller and I can handle it.

Then this contraption appeared recently in our entranceway. A ramp that stows away. It lies flat against the wall and when you need it, you slide the lock to release so that it will lie on top of the stairs. I haven't tried it yet though as it might not be the right width for the stroller. It takes me about 30 seconds to hoist the stroller up the stairs on its back wheels. Not sure if setting up the ramp would really save any time. Still...every once in a while there are these flashes of practicality. I wish it would happen just a little more often!

Home, Sweet Home


Oops, I wrote a post after all.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, gosh, that's funny - in a horrible sort of way. I really think that there was some sort of ramp like that in the metro....isn't there? But, it looked to me like it a) wouldn't necessarily FIT a wheelchair and b) would be extremely steep - unmanageably steep.....so, I came to the conclusion I must be wrong; it really couldn't be what I thought it was. But, I feel the same way about your "contraption" - wouldn't you hate to be in a wheelchair and "try it out"? You'd need several strong men to keep you a) on it and b) from crashing into the wall below.

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  2. Oh, yikes! I really wouldn't chance it in a wheelchair. I almost never see anyone around in a wheelchair but I suppose they have to get in and out of the building. I'm sure in some cases they carry them and the wheelchair separately. Gosh, I am just imagining someone careening down the ramp in a wheelchair. It's true though that the ramps often end too close to a wall, even for a narrow stroller. No turning radius.

    When I think of handicapped ramps in Russia, they are more for either baby carriages or cargo purposes. The elderly use carts to carry groceries and things. I see the occasional person with a cane, but in general it's pretty hard for the disabled to get around this city.


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