Soviet items have become very trendy here now and not just for collectors, it’s everywhere. No-one fears the communist party will take power again as it just doesn’t have enough support anymore.With staunch ‘soviet’ grannies dropping off their perches every day, the party would need a strong youth vote and the only thing strong about young peoples’ vote is their opposition…opposed to most things usually, but especially voting!
Apart from that, you couldn’t prize any power away from our president with a crowbar! His selfishness makes it safe for us in a strange way.
Two years ago everyone started wearing ‘CCCP’ (Russian for USSR) logos etc on everything from t-shirts to bags, hats and even underpants! (Trust me, I’ve seen enough underpants both on and off bodies to know! Although, the hammer I can understand…the sickle is a worry!) There was even a trendy bar ‘CCCP’ but it fell out of favor because of one fatal mistake…..happy hour! Or more precisely 3 happy hours from 12pm to 5pm with 20% discount. And trendy Russians (almost a contradiction in terms, but they do exist) never do anything ‘discount’! One thing, apart from fur hats, that will never be out of fashion in Russia is soviet cars.
Apart from photography I work as a gay guide. For some English guests, I hired an old soviet limo, ZIM…4 door, 7 seated. A Stalin style vehicle, and naturally black, as a limo should be. I took the limo to the airport to greet the English guests and on our return to hotel we felt like royalty as all the people we passed were waving at us….well, a bunch of queens in a limo, what else would you expect?
Actually I think it’s a genetic memory that makes them automatically wave at ’master’s’ cars but being the egotist that I am I was convinced it was just for me! There are only 2 limos like this left in St.P so it is not a common sight on the street now.
It was fun! Ok, very ‘tourist-like’ but so what? And the fun didn’t end there. We took the limo to a gay club and the roar of the whispers was deafening, “who are they?” All the time we were there, the whole crowd was cruising around us, probably dreaming about having sex in the limo…sadomasochistic group sex….(oh yeah, and who’s going to clean up after that?…but it did give me a great new idea for a business!!!)