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Finnish mix (part 6)

Photo: Lauri Rantala, Flickr.com, Licence CC 2.0

Our Finnish impressions (continuation 3) – from my dad stories

XX-th century, 60-80-ies, Soviet Union. It was the time of the total deficit triumph. Everything had to "get". Quirky chiefs, directors and officials had Finnish Rosenlew refrigerators in their kitchens, Finnish combined cases in their rooms. Also these superiors wore Finnish shoes, preferring them more than the products of " Paris Commune " factory. All the things purchased using the large system of personal connections. Sometimes there were slices of Finnish cheese or cervelat batons in the civil servants’ holiday food packages. These products have kept their great taste to this day!

Also everyone living in that time was amazing to see that the bricks from Finland was packed in the foil (Russians threw domestic bricks in the truck, which throw out on the ground what is left). Finnish furniture and plumbing were also packed very carefully because they were acquired for the personal cabinets of party “big shots”.

Once (in the organization named “Zarubezhgeologiya”) my father was showed Finnish analyzer for determining the amount of gold in the rock. This device equipped with counting-critical device gave the result of 1.5 minutes in comparison with the Soviet equipment using that specialists obtained results in 8 hours. Was 1972. The era of high technologies was stepping everywhere in the world.

And let’s return to 1967. My father went on a business trip to Leningrad. He decided to get acquainted with the cultural wealth of the Hermitage in his spare time. He walked through the halls, in which groups of pupils often passed by him - boys in the form of mousey colour, girls in brown-black form, - they apparently came there straight from school. And at the exit, he saw a group of teenagers in unusual bright jackets and boots with colored laces. No one, and none of them were dressed alike. On the heads of the girls were a lot of multi-colored braids. All the guys had some free uninhibited gestures. Someone said to him that they were the Finnish pupils. Somehow they were not like the people of decaying capitalism, about which the Soviet propaganda told all the time.

My father remembered another episode. During the reign of Leonid Brezhnev my dad participated in celebratory demonstrations in Moscow for several times. Once, when the column of demonstrators walked past the Hotel National, foreign tourists looked at them through the glasses of huge windows. Probably the tourists were going to go on a city tour, some of them were holding Finnish small flags, and they were shocked of this loyalty show. My dad remembered the looks of the tourists: they looked at unnatural cheerful Soviet people with some kind of pity. At the entrance to the Red Square the column had stopped, trimmed the banners, received briefing from the Secretary of the Party Committee: what to scream and how to welcome. Then they all went happily welcome leadership of the country, standing on the podium of the mausoleum with gray-yellow faces with hats pulled over their eyes. And Finnish tourists drove by bus to Zagorsk (now Sergiev Posad).

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