Off-chance, if I am lucky, perhaps, who knows, maybe, hit-or-miss, etc. are key words to describe a Soviet invention. An eco-bag, a string bag born of necessity – AVOS’KA (авоська).


It was indispensable in the country where you never knew what you were shopping for…


Except for the booze of course.


That type of shopping was predictable and one of the most popular. During some periods of Soviet life, booze was not readily available though. Millions of man-hours were wasted in lines, fights to get a bottle. I don’t remember reading a book or something when standing in those lines. And, of course, iPhones and Samsung Galaxies were still light years away…




A line outside a Dairy Store (Moloko).


I doubt the authenticity of this picture. The value of the goods inside is so high, only a stupid mother$%&ker would show it to the unwashed masses. If not mugged and robbed, he (she) would be scorned by fellow citizens: “У, буржуй, проклятый!..”


Lucky girls in beautiful identical dresses. The one on the left got some Pepsi from Novorossiysk plant. As I recall, the taste was pretty good. The only problem, in the USSR they sold it warm or hot – never ice-cold as it was (is?) designed to be…

Click above to see images of Soviet ‘reusable shopping bags’.

I remembered all that after seeing my daughter’s Facebook post about reusable shopping bags. Some shit gets passed from one generation to another irrespective of geography, race, nationality and so on. Via genes I guess. Unfortunately, we can do nothing to warn our offspring, to share our wisdom with them. Mariya put a Bernie Sanders sticker on her car like other millennials but she has no clue.

Click to see Soviet lines. To get ANYTHING.

Socialism is sometimes not what she would want. But she has to learn it for herself…

P.S. I myself contributed to Bernie’s campaign. Two bucks less than the average donation. 🙂


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