Created by Elena Casagrande
There were no bars in my town. To find beer in the Soviet Union, you had to wait for the beer wagon to roll into town, and then get in line. Every few days a small beat up pick up truck would roll into my hood dragging a wagon with an 8ft round yellow cylinder full of beer and sometimes kvas. Next to the market in my neighborhood was where they would park their wagon. The beer wagon was a State run program, and everyone would know when it came to our neighborhood. People would start lining up early in the morning and if we got lucky there would be something left once school let out. The babushka who ran the stand was a pretty grimm old lady and she was all business.
Rostov and I would get in line around 3:30 right after school let out. We had fake passports by the age of 13 so we were able to get our beer fix a few years ahead of time. 4 Copeki for a glass of beer was what it cost, and we were determined to get our fill. We would spend much of our week pawning found and stolen objects to save for the beer day. The line was usually about 15 people long and there were only about 3 cups that we all would share. When you get to the front of the line you must chug your cup, hand it to the person behind you and then step aside. One cup at a time was all the babushka allowed (State Policy), so Rostov and I would circle back after 1 cup and then get back in line to wait another ten minutes or so. Two cups was usually all we could afford, after that we would sneak a bottle of Vodka out of the market and split it up with our friends.
Our band was born in the back streets of Tambov, Russia. Growing up behind the iron curtain and living through the fall of communism we learned to survive and make the most out of very little. This blog is dedicated to our youth and will help to shed some light on life in Communist Russia.