Thursday, January 15, 2015

shout out from Serbia

circa 1972.

When I was a kid, I just assumed people in commie countries spent all their time in dark rooms, being miserable and wondering when the secret police would come calling.

To my utter astonishment, a prof I had at college, who began life in Czechoslovakia (Hi, Mr. Cibulka!) told a story of when he, his parents and siblings were out on the balcony of their apartment eating popcorn. (Communist popcorn??) And a strong smell wafted out onto the balcony, smelling strongly of popcorn.  However, it turned out, their apartment was on fire.*

The above name is a place name in Serbia.  (or, as stuff you'll find from around 1900, 'Servia.')

*Since the late 1980s, the Far Northeast part of the City of Bothersome Love has been attracting Russians fleeing Russia.   For some reason, either the novelty of living in a unit sans five other families, or cooking over something other than a kerosene stove, they constantly had fires break out in their units.  Like, constantly.  I know this because a) it used to make the news, and b) I knew someone who worked across the street from the fire house that serviced that area.

Just thought you'd find that cultural tidbit interesting.

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