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Poland PRL era shops in pictures


jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Aug 2015  #1
Some interesting pictures here of shop windows during the late 80s. A few of them are not in Poland however some are. The photographer said he was surprised how banal it all was; what did he expect...

[quote]Devoid of advertising or colour, they paint a grim picture of life in the last days of the crumbling Soviet empire.
One particularly depressing photograph taken in Krakow in 1988 shows a shop front with a meagre display of three loves of bread in front of a net curtain.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3183146/The-bleak-bland-shop-fronts-capture-grim-reality-life-Iron-Curtain-late-1980s.html
bullfrog 6 | 603
3 Aug 2015  #2
nice photos Jon. I especially like the one with the caption reminding the reader that Bulgaria was formerly part of the USSR!
InPolska 11 | 1,821
3 Aug 2015  #3
Yes, very interesting! Thanks! I first saw Poland (Katowice and then Warsaw) in March 1990 and it was not much better than that, at least in Katowice because in Warsaw things were better (but not that great ;))
OP jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Aug 2015  #4
Look like Western Europe 30 years before that. Despite it all, people got on with life and made the best of things. Triumph in adversity.
national
3 Aug 2015  #5
One particularly depressing photograph taken in Krakow in 1988 shows a shop front with a meagre display of three loves of bread in front of a net curtain.

Western stupidity at its best!Hello mister,this shop is a BAKERY!What is depressing about displaying bread in a bakery?Sure the display isn't very fancy but it shows what is being sold in there.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
3 Aug 2015  #6
@Jon! not in Western Europe 30 years ago? In those days, we had supermarkets and no problem to buy anything (I know, I was around ;)). Based upon what I have heard, it was so in Western Europe during the war.
OP jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Aug 2015  #7
30 years before the pictures, which were 20 years ago.

What is depressing about displaying bread in a bakery?

They might have made it look a bit more appealing.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
3 Aug 2015  #8
In mid-90s Russia there were more goods, at a price, but the shops had changed little. You'd go to a meat shop, called "Meat", or a fish shop, called "Fish", and join a scrum of sharp-elbowed b***hes around the counter, behind which customer-hating operatives with downturned lips would slowly serve the alpha-shoppers who succeeded in getting their attention. After being served, the operative would give you a slip of paper with the price on, and you'd join a queue (an orderly queue) for the Kasa. You'd pay, and God help you if you didn't have the odd coins, and then go back to the scrum to try and attract the attention of the assistant. Eventually, your receipt would be taken and you'd get your goods. After all that you'd be a furious gibbering wreck.
bullfrog 6 | 603
3 Aug 2015  #9
Similar process in Poland in PRL times.. I remember buying shoes or a coat and going through the same number of queues.

Still exists in a toned down version in Italy, where, when at a bar, you often have first to queue to pay and then hand over your receipt to get your expresso!
OP jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Aug 2015  #10
There was a bookshop like that in Poznan that was open until about 10 years ago. Buying a book was a three stage process.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Aug 2015  #11
@Bullfrog: Yes, I remember to stand in 3 lines during the "former system".

It's very common also NOW in Poland to first order, pay and receive a ticket and then go and get one's coffee, ice cream or whatever...
Roger5 1 | 1,458
4 Aug 2015  #12
It's very common also NOW in Poland

Where? I haven't seen this is fifteen years, and I live in the east.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Aug 2015  #13
@Roger: I mean what Bull says re 2 lines. In many places, mostly in cafés. There is also a pizzeria in my neighborhood doing this and sometimes it's so long (but their pizzas are really good).
OP jon357 63 | 14,134
4 Aug 2015  #14
I know a restaurant in Gdynia (Bistro Kwadrat or some such?) that does it. Always packed full of people. Plus also the Bar Mleczny still does that. At Amrit in place Wilsona you order at one place and pay at another unless they've changed that when they enlarged (decent food - excellent hummus - crappy service)

Probably very few actual shops left that still do that.

A question for those who lived here during the PRL, did the larger shops ever have those black plastic slides that delivered your change? I remember those in the UK. Also a few that had bank-style vacuum tubes.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Aug 2015  #15
@Jon: even in all these international café chains. I suppose that I'm used to it because I'm not shocked.

There is also a pizzeria in my neighborhood (the 1st established pizza place in Warsaw) doing it. They offer around 50 different kinds of pizzas, which are very good so people don't mind

They even do it now at McDonald's and it's much better than the way it used to be... I don't go to Mcdo's often but the very rare times when I go, I notice that it's much quicker.
tictactoe
4 Aug 2015  #16
The Russian lipstick shop photo is scary, those eye's !!.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
4 Aug 2015  #17
One thing, in fact the only thing, I did like about Russian restaurants was the tradition of getting up to dance right by your table. You'd have a few bites of your herring a la mercure with dill (what else) and a few cold hard peas, shoot your fifty grammes of Stolychnaya, stand up, shuffle about a bit next to your table, then get back to the meal.


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