Cheese, ice cream and GUM (and a recipe!)

Shopping was a complicated business in the Soviet Union in 1976. There was very little food in the gastronoms: fresh, canned or pickled cabbage, cheese, eggs (sometimes) and a small variety of canned food. If you were lucky there was dark rye bread. All goods for sale were on display. Nothing was stored in any back rooms. Items were neatly lined up on shelves with plenty of space around them. Cans were staked in precariously balanced pyramids and glass display cabinets held a sparse collection of dairy products.

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Buying silk in India


The Ganges is brown and wide and moves sluggishly as if weighed down by the load that it carries. We have a boat, one of many, and a man to row for us. I let my hand drag in the water and splash my face and forehead. I sit with my back to the sun, my clothes sticking to me. Perspiration runs down my neck. My straw hat protects my face and my cotton pants and shirt cover all of me except for my hands which have been lavished with sunscreen.

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