Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Something a bit different..

I can't even remember what I was originally searching, but I ended up trying to find pictures of 1970's Chinese (?) pioneer (?) children (defo) - the kind they had on wall calendars, in those days. Super happy big smiles, bright colours, blue skies, flags, flowers, Asian writing (I assume it was Chinese, but I was a child, at the time, so.. I would have recognised Russian writing, and it wasn't that - something a bit more 'exotic', from my point of view..) Anyway, the general idea was - isn't Communism great, eh?! *forced grin*

Well, I couldn't find any such pictures, but I found somewhat nostalgic Russian videos.. (No, I don't miss that world, but this stuff triggers more personal memories from those times. And some of the Youtube comments were actually surprising - or perhaps not.. Some Russians saying they miss the Soviet days.. In a way, it's understandable, and it isn't.. It would totally depend on what kind of memories they have from that time, if any..)

My only experiences of communist countries, were the two trips I made to Bulgaria in 1980 and 1981, with my granny (who always packed her suitcase full of tights, etc., which she gave to women in the communist countries she visited as those things weren't widely available there). I was a child, but I remember finding it strange how there was a big supermarket, but the shelves were mainly empty. They did have fresh white bread everyday - probably the best bread I've had in my life. Once, we made the mistake of buying butter, but it turned out to be unsalted, and.. well, bleeerrrghh.. After that, we just ate the bread on its own, and it was gorgeous like that. They also sold runny honey - the first time I'd seen runny honey in my life, and I loved it.. (Finnish honey was always solid.) There were hard sweets in tins, and Holi Rose liqueur, which I got to taste, and had it been up to me, I could easily have become an alcoholic child right there and then, lol.. (It was really good! I'd probably hate it now..) I vaguely remember some huge tins or jars of some pickled stuff, but other than that, most of the shelves were always empty. There were no plastic bags, either. When you bought bread, I think they wrapped it in thin paper, but otherwise you were expected to bring your own bag.

I loved ice cream in Bulgaria! The best stuff was sort of 'watery', which doesn't sound nice, but oh, it was.. I didn't actually like the creamier stuff nearly as much..

My eternal love for goats milk started in Bulgaria as well - accidentally, by the way.. We stayed in Zorniza, which still exists (!!!), but based on the more recent photos online, it's a completely different place from the lovable kip it was in those days.. Anyway, they might not have had a proper breakfast available as we would always go to some other nearby hotel for breakfast. Most often, it was Mercury, across the road. They had tall glasses of milk on the breakfast buffet table, and I just grabbed one without realising that there were glasses of cows milk AND goats milk.. I'd happened to grab a glass of goats milk, and I loved it! From then on, it was goats milk every morning =D (Quick googling found just one photo of the current Mercury - totally different.. It's either been completely revamped, or has moved to a new location.. I'd have to spend more time googling the details..)

Sometimes, we'd have breakfast in Orel, which still looks the same, only smaller (than in my memories).. They had the best salami..

I would actually love to visit Nesebar again, someday, but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea. I have so many great memories from that place, and nowadays it might just be full of the kind of tourists I'd love to avoid.. Not that I'm planning to travel anywhere, in the near future..

I should have some photos of those childhood trips, but they're all in Finland. Must check them out the next time I visit my parents..

The above video includes Sandman footage - I loved Sandman as a child! (Totally missing the politics, lol..) I've only watched the first ten minutes of this video, though, but it's very interesting.

I'm still hoping to find those Chinese (?) pictures, someday. I think my grandfather brought me the old calendars from work (or maybe they were current calendars - they would have been useless in their office as no one understood the language), and I decorated my playhouse with the pictures. I also wish I still had my dad's old comic books, which were left there.. Robin Hood, etc.

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