People keep telling us that the neighborhood we live in is a ghetto. It’s called Bojsenburg, but its nicknames are Bajsenburg (“bajs” being poop) and Bosniaburg (self-explanatory). Supposedly it’s dangerous and full of scary foreigners (like me and Kostia), but the biggest dangers I’ve experienced are little kids not looking where they’re going when they’re riding their bikes.

Tell me, does this look like a ghetto to you? Click to enlarge.

Ye olde ghetto library

Courtyard with storage space and covered bicycle parking

Our apartment. We have a garden and everything. And we leave our bikes outside and nobody messes with them.

Here’s a map of the ghetto. It can be a little confusing to the uninitiated since the buildings look quite similar.

Personally, I think it kind of looks like an artists’ colony or something. The apartments are bright and spacious. The buildings are well-maintained by the municipal housing organization and the caretakers come instantly when you call, even if it’s to change a lightbulb. It’s all car-free (the parking lots are at the perimeter, though you can use a special key to open the gates if you need to pull a car up to your entrance to deliver something), which means kids and cats can run around without worry. The landscaping is lovely, and residents seem to be free to decorate their balconies and patios however they want. There are several preschools on the premises. It’s a five-minute walk to the forest, two lakes and three supermarkets. It’s a 20-minute walk to downtown Falun.

A ghetto? I think it’s utopia.

Listen to Cartman sing “In the Ghetto”