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Well forgotten old

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Oldies but Goldies – the so-called collection of the best songs of the Beatles. Old, but gold. I also propose today to remember well forgotten old. Namely: specific actions performed by a Soviet citizen in their daily practice “on autopilot”. That is, such actions, which were completely familiar to every Soviet person. Characteristic, so to speak, the strokes of Soviet life.

For example. When the Soviet man came into the deli, he usually was going to buy not one product, but several, for example: milk, bread, cheese, sausage (in those few cities where it was). Of supermarkets (universal self-service stores) even in Moscow was not enough. And beyond, except in large cities. So it is usually bought in specialized shops (“milk”, “meat”, “wine and water”) or – grocery stores. Typical Soviet grocery store was a pretty large hall, on the perimeter near the walls of which were placed counters. All the shelves were divided into sections: bread Department, dairy Department, meat, meat, groceries, etc. the Soviet people (most of these were long-suffering Soviet woman) got up(a) in the dairy Department (i.e. attached to the tail of the queue). When his turn came, he(a) asked(a) to weigh him “four hundred gram Poshehonskiy cheese”. The seller was weighed and the call price (the seller, by the way, was also usually Soviet woman, the truth is more plump). At the request of the buyer, the seller could write the price on a piece of paper. Further, the Soviet people have moved into the sausage Department. There, too, were lined up and asked to weigh: “Amateur pound” (or “doctor”, for example). Procedure price (and a possible entry on a piece of paper) were repeated. The buyer further moved in the grocery Department. Again lined up. At the counter and told the seller: “I have a pound of pasta and three hundred grams of candy” (candy, however, could be in another Department – pastry; but this is where like). He requested weighed, poured into bags and also reported the price.

Next came a more crucial moment.

The buyer moved to the checkout. Cass could be in the grocery store a few but most often they have never worked, and only worked one, two. The cashier was the longest line because the cashier stand all customers of all divisions to pay for the purchase. Sometimes, however, the Fund differentiated: in one hand punched only products from sausage and milk (for example), and the other: wine and groceries. Or something like that.

Stood in line at the cashier, the Soviet people began to read the mantra:

– Milk – RUB-twenty-five, and two-for-sixteen (two packets of milk for 16 cents each), sausage – RUB-thirty, at the grocery store – RUB-ninety-wine – two-forty.

The cashier started him to “break” checks. The check was not single. For each Department was meant for my check. Sometimes departments had not only names but also numbers, then the buyer instead of the name of the Department said the number, for example: “in the second – three-twenty, in the third – RUB-ten”, etc.

Get your hands on the cheques, the Soviet people have studied them, tore the first Smeralda through a broken amount (and sometimes the number of the division) and went to the appropriate Department. If he had previously defended in the queue and weighed the item (for example, a pound of sausage), then she usually was laying (wrapped in a rough, but very organic, paper) next to the seller. On the bags sprawling handwriting, was written the price. Because there were many buyers, and bags was not enough (of those that haven’t paid for in cash). Through a check the buyer handed the seller a check. The seller took the check, looked at the price in check, and then I looked for among the bags that wrapped the bag, which was the same price. Finding it, he stretched his lucky sausage (sometimes, by the way, and could confuse).

If the buyer in Department place is not defended, although rung (for example, in the wine where to weigh it is necessary nothing), he was again attached to the tail of the queue and waited patiently, when you get to the counter. Then handed him the cheque and received in exchange a bottle of port (or what he paid). Soda, by the way (“Pinocchio” or “Lemonade”) are usually sold also in the wine.

That was such a standard algorithm shopping in Soviet grocery store. No, he was not surprised. Everyone thought it self-evident. Queue in different departments were different and depended on the time of day and calendar date. In the days of the issuance of advances and salaries (they were in the USSR was issued the 5th and 20th of each month) in the wine line was of course longer. And on the eve of advances (20th) and salary (5th), i.e. when the majority of the Soviet people’s money came to an end, the wine was almost empty. The sausage place was a stable. In dairy and fish turn were usually small. Groceries turn differed from what they sell at the moment. In the checkout queue was always long. The concentration of people was usually after 18 hours, when they ended the working day. Early in the morning the shops were occupied by pensioners. But during the day on weekdays hours up to 16 people as a rule were few. The stores, if memory serves, was usually closed at 19: 00 hours, some at 20-00. After all closed some single Central grocery stores in Moscow in 21 hours. But in principle, after 20 hours, we had nothing to catch. On Sunday most grocery stores didn’t work (and Department in General, all not worked).

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That was such a algorithm going to the grocery store. Thus, the average shopper in the grocery store is usually to stand not one but at least two, and usually three or four or more queues.

Please pay attention to nervous Lovers of Old that I wrote it not for some slabstone; not in order to spit in the history of his country, but quite the contrary. I joy to people to deliver wanted. Wanted people with affection remembered a happy Soviet time. And notice I wrote nothing about regular rudeness and just being rude sellers and cashiers (“in the window is written,” “what, are you blind or what, do you see yourself?” etc.), about swearing in the queue (“you are not standing there”), about specific sticky dirty floor with frequent milk puddles, about the evil attendants-cleaners, who poked people’s feet with their mops with dirty rags and scolded buyers (“only the floor was Vimala, and they have won again naptali”). About all this I didn’t write anything. I’m only about the algorithm model of household actions. In this case – if you buy in the grocery store.

Another characteristic habit, or rather a behavioral algorithm. If the Soviet woman, going shopping, seen some long line, it was first attached to the end of the queue, and only then inquired: “and what?”. This algorithm worked in any store: the grocery, and – especially – in Department. By the way, usually saying exactly “give” and not “sell”. Why? Apparently the Soviet people subconsciously knew that can sell only in a system with a normal free economy, and in the system of Soviet orders, the goods that give. And how could something to sell, if the Soviet people were not money, Soviet rubles.

Another item on the queue. Many seasoned buyers (and such were almost all the Soviet women) in large stores took several queues. Because there was no way to stand in each queue sequentially, time just would not be enough, given that in the other queues had to stand for two to three hours or even more (it is, however, dared in Moscow mostly, and the Muscovites tried to get the goods “with hands”, that is without queue, though “overpayment”). This algorithm was called “to take place”. Sometimes there was tragedy: “a busy place” “fit” right in two divisions. The unfortunate buyer, otovarivatsya in the same Department, “missed” turn. Then he had to prove this queue that it it already was (that is “took” it). Naturally, other Soviet people flatly refused to believe that the buyer actually “took place”. His happiness, if someone remembered. But this could not happen and then had to queue again. Horror.

Sometimes instead of himself any shopper put your child, and she fled to another Department far far away (this happened, for example, in Department stores of type “Children’s World”, GUM Department store, etc.). And now imagine that they felt the poor child, when the “queue up” and to the coveted counter is only two or three people, and mom still no. And the poor child almost in tears, looks around, in hopes that among the crowd of sullen individuals will flicker native mother’s face. But in vain. Do not flicker. Mother at this time on a different floor, beating at the entrance to the Department “shoes” in which “threw” the Romanian boots orange color with zipper on the side. And here the child will activate the siren, cast open the vaults of heaven and begins a universal flood. The child was immediately surrounded by a crowd, discovers that he “lost mother” and leases where necessary. After which hands-free intercom for the whole store to hear: “Citizen Nikiforova, your son nick is waiting for you near the information Desk, I repeat…” what can I do, poor mother? To throw the battle for the Romanian boots and run for the son, losing place? Here is your stuff. Shakespeare with his funny “tragedies” just resting.

Or here’s another recall this algorithm. When the Soviet people in the dining room (usually at work, but in the public street too, or rather in the latter case, even especially) sat at a table to eat a bought lunch, I often performed the following ritual: he would take a paper towel (if it’s been in the Cup on the table) or a handkerchief (if swipe was not) and carefully wipe the spoon and fork (and possibly the knife), who took from the common buckets at the cash register and we are going to eat. Why did he do it? Because usually these spoons/forks though and washed, but for some reason often was fat. Well, that is obviously not washed very carefully. And hold them in my hands was unpleasant. And just like that it was not the Soviet person of great faith in the reliability of the sanitary sink in the dining room. So he was covered.

And again, notice I do not say anything about the quality of the food in these canteens. Do not talk anything about the bones that were supposed to symbolize the “chicken meat” in the muddy slush, treacherous-called “chicken noodle”; not talking about a “salad” which consisted mostly of huge chunks of boiled potatoes and Morkva, and often in the absence of mayonnaise gives methanosarcinales (sour cream this white goo call was difficult); not talking about the so-called meat patties, which consisted mainly of bread and cartilage; do not remember about “Siberian dumplings”, representing a mixture of slippery slime and a separate floating rubber lumps (supposedly cold); do not disclose the secret “mashed potatoes”, which had two States – either “cold sole of Shoe” (a bluish color), or “the consistency of yogurt”, deliquescent on a plate as semolina; hide about stale (even dried) bread, about diluted with water (sometimes straight from the tap) soup, about a liquid “tea” and strange taste of stewed fruit, bottled in poorly washed sticky thick glasses. It all again, so I did – silence. I purely about the model, the most repeated and almost ritual – wiping devices before a meal in the dining room.

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But I note with great pleasure that people in the Soviet canteens take: vinaigrette, salad from fresh cabbage and grated carrots. This kind of too was a standard algorithm. Very few people dared to encroach on the canteen “Olivier” salad, but the vinaigrette and the carrot eating fearlessly. Probably because despite the highest level of intelligence, workers of Soviet catering never thought than it would be possible to dilute the grated carrot and fresh chopped cabbage.

Well, another ritual-remember algorithm. The Soviet people, mostly male, when they got out of the pack the cigarette to smoke it, first some time kneading it in his fingers to do anything with tobacco, so cigarette burned better. This habit was so sustainable that even when Communist rule ended and the country began to be sold everywhere cigarettes of good quality of good tobacco, some people still for some time the habit crushed before you smoke. Later, however, I realized that it is not required.

And very small appendage: as toothpicks nowhere and never was (well, maybe only in some rare restaurants for foreigners), the Soviet people took a match, a knife and sharpened a match with opposite from the head end. And then such a makeshift toothpick picking his teeth. Trifle of course, but detail.

One more absolutely innocent detail. The bus or trolley (or, say, tram), by purchasing a ticket, the Soviet passenger often counted three left and three right numbers (number of ticket was six). If the left and right sums were equal, the ticket was considered “happy.” The Soviet passenger on the shower was done well. Some even ate these tickets. However, these people were still a bit. Well, it should also be noted that not all Soviet passenger (even an adult) the ticket bought. This is kind of the same behavior.

One more absolutely innocent and absolutely children’s algorithm: when walking on the street, it is impossible to advance to the round hatches. Why? And who knows.

Here, perhaps, is all.

I hope my few (maybe not quite skillful) strokes allowed dear readers of nostalgia, remembering this happy peaceful time in which so much want to return. As much teeth as you want.

But since I have spent my time and effort creating this, although unsightly, but fairly long text, and the time is now to market, so I will require from you, dear readers, payment for the pleasure (here it is, the grin of capitalism). And payment will be this: you should also frowned, remember these are the characteristic touches of the wonderful life and write them in the comments. It is here are daily behavioral rituals that every (or almost every) the Soviet people did not hesitate. Just please no horror, nothing that can hurt our dear admirers of the Soviet past. Their nervous system is very delicate and if they suddenly say, “Sausage!”, they start to worry, cry and be offended. So pure memories about the daily details of the behavioral stereotypes of Soviet citizens. After all, the devil, as you know, in the details. And the little things are forgotten in the first place. The rockets remain in memory. And who remembers obschepitovskih rissoles, fried on machine oil (or vegetable, but that changed so long ago that not much in taste from different machine)?

The details are not important? No, I’m sorry. When it comes to how to save in the memory of grateful descendants of the Great Experiment that has made happy millions and millions of people, it may not be unimportant details. We must save future generations the Soviet Union in all its diversity, in all its details. Someone will say, for example: “Let’s not dwell on that not being able to get a real gum, many Soviet children otkolupyvala var or resin from a pipe and chewed them; it is necessary to forget, let’s remember missiles”. But I will say this: the narrow-minded conversations. The Soviet Experiment is too large, too much happiness and joy he brought to people, so we can afford such extravagance is to forget every detail of everyday happy life of the Soviet people.


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