Come On, Let's Go.

The Soviet Union was breathing its last breaths when anything I can relate to as a reliable memory kicked in. I remember being told about American Stores which had expensive goods available for an entirely different kind of money than the rubles and kopeks I was used to. I also remember hearing about an American restaurant -- McDonalds -- opening in Moscow. I was told that the lines stretched around the block and that people valued the cups they got there like treasures from the Orient. Even though people waited on line plenty for simple food in Russia, it was hard to conceive of such lines. For one thing, thanks to my mother having some sort of connections in a local bakery, we avoided the wait and had hot loaves of fresh bread surreptitiously handed to us out the backdoor in the evening. Anyhow, weeks before we emigrated, my mother and I took a trip to Moscow (we were from Leningrad) to finalize some paperwork, and I got to see the line in person. It was fucking huge; take a look for yourself:

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