Country traditions in Western Europe differ from those that exist in the spaces of the former USSR. Germans, French and other Europeans spend time outside the city just to relax from the city rush. Do they have something to learn?
A few years ago I had a chance to visit the suburban area of Berlin. Wooden houses, many years ago owned by members of the government of the German Democratic Republic, were privatized by residents of West Berlin. My German friends were very proud of their new acquisitions, since the bungalow of the first secretary of the SED Central Committee, Erich Honecker, was also located on the territory of this holiday village.
Once in the summer house of the former party leader of the GDR, for a long time I could not understand where I was, since the term "dacha" in the concept of a person born in the USSR did not correspond to what I saw here.
The suburban residential area was more like a tourist base, but not like the summer cottages we used to see in our homeland.
All houses were of the same design, with the only difference that homeowners painted them in different colors. In the slang of the 80s of the last century, such buildings were jokingly called "incubator", as there was not the slightest architectural twist in them. They were the most ordinary factory stamping.
Land plots near the shield houses were not fenced. The area of country estates did not exceed four, or even three acres. Near each house there was parking, covered with gravel, a green lawn with neatly mowed grass, where the owners arranged plastic folding furniture and covered it with removable foam pillows of the most outlandish colors.
These summer home accessories were purchased by the European summer residents without ever leaving their homes simply by browsing through the thick Otto, Quelle or Nekkermann catalogs, which could be taken free of charge at any department store, and then, choosing the right model, order it by phone with home delivery by courier. The average German or resident of another country who was provided with work could easily afford to buy any goods for country needs at an inexpensive price.
Under the windows of the houses, well-groomed flowerbeds were laid out with flowers of various varieties. No plowing, no raspberry, gooseberry, currant bushes and ... the complete lack of greenhouses with cucumbers and tomatoes!
That holiday village was located in the forest zone, on the shore of the lake and in all areas there were spruces, pines, birches, as well as lilac bushes and jasmine.
When I asked, where did the hosts grow vegetables and fruits, they looked at me in a strange and puzzled way. But then, remembering from which edges the guest arrived, smiling, they answered: "We buy berries and fruits in stores. Farmers are engaged in growing plant food. In such zones as this, people just relax, enjoying life."
This is the answer I heard from the wealthy middle-class residents of West Berlin.
Later, when I often visited this country, I sometimes found small beds with strawberries and tomatoes on my country estates. But these plants, according to the owners, were planted here for the sake of pleasure and in small quantities. Exclusively for food "in haste" from the beds, but not for blanks for the winter.
On the outskirts of many European cities, such as Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Dresden, Berlin, today you can see high green hedges under the height of two meters, behind which you can see the roofs of very modest houses. Our holidaymakers, humorists, once called the similar sheds "nesting boxes" or "hens". But this is what most of the suburban buildings in Western Europe look like.
Their distinguishing feature is the lack of gardens and gardens, where gardeners from the CIS countries sometimes enter until they lose consciousness. On the weekends, Europeans of average income leave the city, where they rest near artificial ponds with babbling fountains, admiring exotic flowers in flower beds and alpine slides, and swim in blue-water pools.
At the sites, metal structures are installed for hanging hammocks, sun beds or tourist tents with sleeping bags.
Every garden must have a stove or a fireplace for grilling meat or bread sausages on the grill. All garden furniture is foldable here and does not take up much space in the yard or in the house.
The area of country houses, in Europe they are also called bungalows, not more than 15-20 sq.m. A small hallway, a sanitary unit, a kitchenette, one or two living rooms, where every inch is used carefully.
Garden plots are separated from each other by a hedge of green plants or decorative walls of rubble stone. But more often, no fences, even the most symbolic ones, are visible here.
People come to the country with their families and invited friends. Spend time with a cup of coffee or tea with traditional flour products.
In the afternoon, in the late afternoon, they make a fire and grill meat. During dinner, people drink beer, wine or brandy. Tables of European summer residents on weekends are replete with meat snacks, as well as salads from vegetables and greens, bought in stores.
Country plots, located on the outskirts, and sometimes in the center of large cities behind green hedges or other fences in no case be confused with the private sector. Individual residential building in the countryside or in the city is also surrounded by a green area. But he is not a dacha.
This picture shows a typical European suburban area, located near urban areas.
European country ownership is a territory closed from prying eyes, because here people hide from everyday fuss. Here reigns a special world of individual privacy and communication with loved ones.
Seeing here a stranger, the inhabitants of cottages can take him for a robber or paparazzi and call the police. In Western Europe, there is a law on "unlawful invasion of private property". For his violation punished with fines or imprisonment. That is why we know little enough about the dacha lifestyle abroad. This way is significantly different from our lifestyle and the perennial habits of older people on weekends working hard in gardens and gardens, completely forgetting about rest.