Smooth communication entails a level of respect and solidarity. It helps if there is a common ground between the people involved. Two-thirds of Latvian inhabitants live in Soviet blockhouses, almost everyone has lived there, both Latvian and Russian speakers. And even if it was a short-lived experience, people still tend to carry the shared memories of things that define those spaces: knowing your neighbor’s music taste, sensing a mixed smell of dinner and cologne in the stairway and encountering potato sellers at the doors.
Most kids who grew up in blockhouses developed an ability to compromise early on. Whether it was finding a way to agree on a game rulesets when we played together in the backyard or when we had to choose the name for a newborn stray cat. To this day, we are still capable of living cheek to cheek, but for some reason, we have forgotten these simple things that used to connect us.