This is how Soviet people lived (I assume people know this, but 1 ruble = 100 kopeyek; I am using Russian plural endings, because this is the proper way to do it):
1 kopeyka — a box of matchesBut hey, people had free education, free medicine and free service in the army.
2 kopeiki — call a girlfriend
3 kopeiki — a glass of soda water with syrup, or a trip on a street car
4 kopeiki — call a girlfriend twice and get a wrong number once, or a trip on a trolley bus
5 kopeyek — a small glass of sunflower seeds (to go)
9 kopeyek — milk ice cream
13 kopeyek — butter ice cream
14 kopeyek — a piece of “block” bread
22 kopeiki — chocolate ice cream “Leningrad”
56 kopeyek — 1 dollar
1 ruble 12 kopeyek — 2 dollars
2.87, 3.62, 4.12 rubles — three bottles of vodka
8.80 rubles — a night trip by taxi to the railroad station and back. On the way there, buy flowers for a girl, give the cab driver a tip and lose 3 rubles
44 rubles — a University student’s stipend. Crazy money.
160 rubles — the goal of life. Dirty money if necessary.
5000 rubles — Zhiguli
10,000 rubles — Volga (in theory. In reality, due to deficit, you had to be in a line to buy a car, and after that, it cost a lot more.)
15,000 rubles — 1o years of prison with confiscation of property
1 million — no such number
300 million — the number of people living in the USSR
* * *
An amazing post by Artemiy Lebedev on Russian food. You really have to understand Russian to get the context; my favorites were:
- being able to pick the bread by poking it with fingers to check for freshness
- being able to cut bread in halves or quarters
- milk brand was called Milk — levels of fat were labeled by cap color
- butter was cut with metal wire and weighed
- eggs were bought in numbers — if you bought at least 30, you could get the container, otherwise, you’d put them all in a bag
- you paid first, got a receipt, brought it to the “cashier” who put all the receipts on a metal spike, calculated in hear head and using the abacus that the sum was correct and then gave you the produce
- if you wanted to insult the cashier, you could buy a single egg
- a produce store, liquor store, paper store, toy store, butcher store “director” could be sure his children would get into a University
- no plastic bags — you brought your own bag or carried things in hands
Lebedev tells a joke regarding the picture above:
A Soviet and an imported chicken legs are lying in a store and having a conversation:If you think this is funny, it’s not. I am not talking about the joke — the whole topic. That’s what spreading the wealth accomplishes. Americans have seen something likes this, during the Great Depression. Two to four generations of Soviets lives their lives through this.
— Look at you: you’re all skinny, venous, blue, hairy!
— Yeah, but at least I had a natural death.
But yeah, capitalism is evil. No question about it.