was now much better, and their pay was twenty-four to twenty-seven
roubles per month; formerly it was often as low as six roubles. They also
have a fairly strong trade union which watches over their interests and
sees to the laws being carried out by their employers. Only one woman
stated that the food she was given before the war was better than now.
All the others said that this was an exception, this woman having served
a particularly nice family.—in most cases, before the war servants were
given the coarsest food, or little more than the leavings from their
master's table. Now the mistress is compelled to supply the servants
with the same food as enjoyed by the family.
The " Lenin Kurort " (Grozny)
The Lenin Kurort at Grozny was formerly known as " Goryachie Vodei"
(meaning " Hot Waters "). To get to it from the town we drove through
endless hilly fields, which stretched out all around us for miles and miles.
In the far distance we were told majestic mountains could be seen on
a fine day ; but we were unlucky, it was misty, and what we saw in the
distance looked more like clouds than mountains.
The Lenin Kurort is like an oasis in the desert. The ugly oil wells,
which in the far distance look like a forest of bare gaunt trees, and on a
somewhat nearer view resemble a graveyard, are nowhere to be seen.
The little village—it is indeed scarcely that—is in a natural hollow, and
being protected by the hills, has a mild climate at all seasons, and is
therefore used as a health resort the whole year round. It has natural
hot sulphur springs, very efficacious, we were told, in the treatment of
eases of rheumatism. Formerly it belonged to a nobleman who used it
as his summer residence for himself, his family, and friends. Now, however,
it has been converted into a health resort of the usual type, for the workers
of Grozny and surrounding district. It is a restful, bright little spot,
prettily laid out with gardens, and contains an open-air bathing place,
as well as medicinal baths. There is a theatre, cinema, library, reading
room, a hall for concerts and meetings, and so on—everything, in fact,
to make a stay there for a worker a real rest and curative holiday.
We had lunch with the inmates, and found the food very good and
plentiful. After lunch we strolled about the place for about an hour or
so talking to the inmates. Amongst others, we met the wives of some
Grozny workers, and the following conversation ensued :—
D. : " How did you manage to come here ? "
W. : " The doctor sent me to the Medical Commission, and they
gave me an order for admission because I was very run down."
D. : " How long are you stopping here ? "
W. : " A month, I think."
D. : " And have you been here long ? "
W. : " Two weeks, and I am feeling a lot better already."
D. : " Do you have to pay anything ? "
W. : " No, we never pay anything at the rest homes and sanatoria,
and our travelling expenses there and back are also paid."
D. : " Do you go out to work ? "
W. : " No, but my husband works in the oilfields."
D. : " Does he earn more or less than before the war ? "