#SoCS – March 12, 2022 – Trip

Linda’s SoCS prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trip.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing that came to mind when I read this prompt was a trip I took with school.

I was lucky enough to go and visit a country I’d have no reason to, in my normal life.

Russia.

Back then, they were coming out of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

We were instructed to take certain things, like ladies’ tights and biro pens, with us to gift the chambermaids, and sweets for the children we might encounter.

I remember the cold as we arrived.

We were in St Petersburg, first.

And we were surrounded by people who were trying to bring themselves out of poverty and restrictions they’d lived with for years.

Moscow was the same.

But different.

Here, Mcdonald’s had just opened a few days before, for the first time, in Russia. Our coach drove past a queue that looked like it stretched nearly a mile, wrapped around a block. A queue filled with people wanting to taste a little bit of what felt like freedom to them.

Wherever we went, people were trying their hardest to make a living. And so many of them supplemented their honest jobs with sidelines of selling various souvenirs to tourists.

I remember a chambermaid coming up to us and asking us if we needed help, as we struggled to get a particularly stupid younger member of our troupe back to her room, after drinking something she purchased illegally. When we shook our heads, she pulled wooden spoons decorated like Babooshka dolls out from under her apron, and said “You vant to buy?”

Then there was the time the waiter in the hotel restaurant served us our drinks, looked around for any of his superiors, and then whisked away his tray to reveal some vinyl records. “You vant to buy?” Er, no thanks. They were Des O’Connor records, I kid you not!

We had been accosted outside by people selling bootleg vodka and even champagne, which we had avoided. However, when we arrived in Moscow and entered the lift to take us to our room, a man with a trench coat and the traditional Russian fur hat, carrying a metal briefcase, entered with us.

The doors closed and the four of us stepped uncomfortably to the rear of the lift, feeling a little intimidated by him. As the lift climbed upwards, he turned around, grinned at us and swung open his briefcase, which was filled with bottles of vodka and champagne, nestled in foam beds. “You vant to buy?” he asked.

Thankfully the lift reached our floor and we hastily escaped with a flurry of no thank yous!

We saw so much on this visit, including the Basilica, Lenin’s tomb. The beautiful buildings and the history of this place…

But what will stay with me are the haunted faces of so many people.

And my fear, now is, that, what with everything happening in Ukraine, and the way Russia is being sanctioned, those innocents in Russia, as well as all those affected in Ukraine, will be carrying those haunted faces for a long time to come.

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leanne
    Mar 16, 2022 @ 23:59:52

    Thank you for sharing such an important piece of history.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. thereluctantpoet
    Mar 13, 2022 @ 12:53:20

    Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Jennie
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 23:24:40

    Your memories are crystal clear, and even more important now. Thank you for this beautiful post, Ritu. God bless the innocents. I wish I could whisk myself to Ukraine and help children.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Susan St.Pierre
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 20:40:44

    The people always suffer for the government decisions. That truth is so tragic. A lovely gripping post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 12, 2022 @ 21:20:01

      Thank you, Susan. I think EVERY country’s citizens would agree. No matter where we live, we suffer their decisions, however, not as extreme as what is happening over there… 😢😢

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  5. syl65
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 20:00:00

    It is sad that the innocent have to pay the price for the actions of the foolish 😐💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. scr4pl80
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 18:28:29

    That is so sad. I am grateful every day to live where I do and will defend to my best the rights we have.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. bikerchick57
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 15:05:44

    It’s so horrible that the ego and power-hungry, non-caring persona of Putin is decimating and harming so many people in Russia and Ukraine. I don’t know how the people of Russia can see the war and not understand it is wrong, even with the propaganda. This all makes my heart so heavy, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Dan Antion
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 14:53:38

    The prospects for these people are once again sad. Our sanctions may eventually bring pain to the leaders, but they are likely already affecting the people.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Gloria
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 12:58:46

    It’s all so sad Ritu. Many Russian people are very sorry about this war and they don’t want it. They are suffering too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Erika
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 12:32:18

    When the war started I thought back too of how everything developed in the former USSR during the past 30 years. Amazing the rise… and now all seems to be back at the beginning in just a few days…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. beth
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 11:38:37

    how lucky you had a chance to visit. like you, i worry about people in both countries right now, with the war going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. prejila
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 10:44:52

    Nice article

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Lauren
    Mar 12, 2022 @ 09:05:59

    It sounds like a difficult time. On a trip to China with my school district, we had some similar experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

My interactive peeps!

%d bloggers like this: