I remember hearing stories of people in the Soviet Union standing in line to purchase bread with no guarantee that there would be any bread available to them when they finally got to the front of the line.
When I was in Moscow this summer (transiting between flights), Victoria took us around the city to see the sights, including GUM, the great department store on Red Square. It was more of an urban mall than a store. One of the stores she wanted to share with us was a gourmet food market with a chocolate department and a fruit department and a fish department, etc. You get the idea.
This is one of the cases in the bakery.
That loaf at the back of the case priced at 80 rubles? That’s about $2.60 US at today’s exchange. Makes you want to grab a pound of butter and a few loaves and a blanket on your way to the local park, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s just me.
People still stand in line for food in Moscow, but it’s at the local McDonald’s. They also stand in line to use various forms of public transportation, especially at rush hour. And yes, I hear the sentiment that “there is Moscow and then there is the rest of Russia” and did experience less abundance of selection out in Ulan Ude than we saw in Moscow. Still, there is a huge difference between limited selection and bread lines.
What would you stand in line for? I mean, a long line?