Monday, November 9, 2009

Communist-Era Goods Back in Vogue

... sign of times, perhaps.

Communist consumer goods make comeback
(11/8/09, AFP via Breitbart)

"Once the butt of jokes the world over, communist-era East European goods from sweets, to rustic washing machines and clunky cars are all the rage again."

"Two decades on, many who then welcomed change now want to turn the clock back by eating Szerencsi chocolate, driving Trabant two-stroke cars or using Frania washing machines to wash carrots."

You can read the entire article by clicking on the link above. The article attributes this renewed interest in Communist-era goods as nostalgia for bad old times for older generation, and curiosity for younger generation.

Well, it looks like they are survival goods to me.

  • A washing machine that you can operate without electricity (Poland's Rotor Frania)

  • A car so rudimentary you can fix yourself (Traband, Skoda, etc.)

  • A condiment sure to enhance any bad-tasting food with MSG (Croatia's Vegeta)

I still remember what one of my collegues told me in a company I used to work for. He was an engineer, and unlike other company engineers and scientists who went to western Europe or the U.S. to study, he went to Soviet Union. He said he came away pretty impressed. He said it was really true that the Soviet TV set could explode, but also said that the vehicles there (I think he was mainly talking about heavy trucks) could be fixed from within the vehicle. Much of the vital parts can be reached from within, he said, and you wouldn't need a mechanic.

I also recall Communist-era public housing in east Berlin was really getting popular in 2002-2003. It was partly due to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley hyping the real estate in Berlin at that time, but I wonder if that continued...


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