Because his work had him designing international exchange programs and conferences, he had occasion to travel to Russia and Kazakhstan to meet with a number of journalists. What most struck him was the variance between “private” and “public” spaces. In Almaty, for example, he stayed with a friend, whose apartment was very charming and cozy, with a view of the presidential palace. However, the non-personal parts of the building — entryway, elevator, hallways — were filthy and in need of a lot of maintenance. The Soviet system seemed to make many things the property — and responsibility — of The People...and therefore of no particular persons.