Gotta go back!

My Travelocity Fare Watcher says that prices from LAX to Moscow have dropped to $441. That’s pretty darn good!

When I went to Russia the first time, in 1991, I had to pay $1200.

For some reason, I was talking to my bus friend Rufina about Russia today. I was telling her about how we carried eggs home from the market.

It is my impression that supply lines in Russia have always been bad. This was especially true when I was living there, 91-93. There were rations in effect for us. FLour, salt, sugar, tea, candy, you had to have ration stamps for all this.

After a few months, the rations stopped. But that didn’t mean that supplies were readily available. One of the commodities that was hard to find was eggs.

Eggs were precious.

They weren’t around very often. I took me a while to realize how long they weren’t around. We’d been there for a few months, and I think I asked about where to buy eggs.

“They will be coming later.”

So I waited. I didn’t really think about it, but one day I was walking down the Prospect, and there was a huge line.

THe natural thing to do when you see a line in Russia is to get in it. You have to be prepared to take opportunities when they arrive.

I asked the people in line what was being sold, and it was eggs.

The line was amazingly long. I was surprised, because I hadn’t seen this kind of line before.

I had already learned to carry a string bag in my pocket. You had to be prepared to buy enough of what you needed whenever it appeared.

But how do you carry eggs home?

They didn’t have then in dozen cartons like in America. We were only allowed to buy 20 eggs each, because it was only fair that everyone got a few.

Believe me, I had my doubts about carrying those 20 eggs back to the apartment. First, would the mesh of the string bag let the eggs slip out?

Apparently not. I watched all the people ahead of me walking out with a string sac of eggs, gently laid together.

I guess the point was to walk slowly and carefully.

Neither of which I am good at.

But these were eggs! Eggs were precious.

I purchased my eggs, and slowly and tenderly laid each one in the sac. I held the sac carefully away from my side, to avoid bumping into it.

Visions of the mess and tragedy that would ensue if I tripped and fell kept me very focussed.

One foot in front of the other, I walked the few blocks to our home.

I believe we ate our last few eggs that night, the ones from the last shipment.

I wonder if they sell eggs in cartons there now?