Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Weeping at Caravan

This is a little out of order, but the people need to know this.  Remember those tales in the seventies and eighties about Soviets coming to American supermarkets and weeping at the abundance of our produce departments?  Things have changed.  This time it was my turn to be flabbergasted.  There was no weeping.  I just want to stress that.  On a trip to Chernivtsi (more on that later), we stopped at this large complex outside of town.  I wouldn't quite call it a shopping mall, but it had aspirations in that direction.  There were several very large stores, the largest of which was a grocery store called Caravan - or thanks to a nice coincidence and alphabet commonality, KAPABAH in the local script.  Here's what it looked like:
 You want dish soap?  You want a sweater?  Well, they're right next to each other!
OK, so have I made my point?  I case it's not clear: this place is gigantic and as you can see, nobody's lining up for bread.  Also, many people are wearing jeans.  See that?  And this may come as a surprise but if they really wanted, they could go out and buy every single Led Zeppelin album ever made.  Things have changed since the grim seventies and why not?  It's been more than 30 years!  Get with it, people!   
 This is the cheese department.  It all pretty much tastes the same, as Ukrainians don't produce anything more exotic than Swiss.  Yeah, it's strange.  They have this extensive dairy industry, yet their cheese is mainly yellow and bland.  I blame Communism.  I always do.  And it always works.
So much Budweiser!  I'm sure it's just as bad here as it is in the US.  There's much better beer around for much less.  Word of warning: don't chase it with vodka.  

And that was our visit to Caravan. 

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