Part 5: Shopping and Products in Communist Bratislava
Balancing the needs and pleasures in socialist Czechoslovakia
In socialist Bratislava, you could easily identify those few people from the West, who made it here. A perfect hairstyle, fashionable clothes, modern car. Life in communist Czechoslovakia was grey and the selection of goods very limited. Yearslong waiting lists for crappy cars were common. Food lacked taste and colour. This chapter will be a journey of daily life back in time!
Did you know?
- Socialist economy was based on 5-year plans, sometimes accomplished for 120%. They were so rigid that shelves were often empty and toilet paper was scarce.
- Goods variety was limited. Children tights were available in four colours - pink or white for girls, blue for boys and brown was a unisex colour.
- It was common to steal all sorts of materials and items from factories. "Those who do not steal from the state, steal from their own family!"
- Private brands did not exist. Shops were simply named by description as Butcher, Grocer or Florist.
- Eating became efficient and food culture went to basics. Traditional asparagus was replaced by pickles and ordinary salad. Slow food recipes were replaced by fried schnitzel, cheese and cauliflower.