Curonian
About Curonian 5 Articles
The humble creator of this podcast - living in Riga, Latvia, and trying to give you the best that I can.

2 Comments on Episode 71 – InTourist

  1. Very interesting, especially story about ‘ideal house’ in Koknese.
    Keep on researching and making podcasts 🙂

  2. Hi, I just started listening to your show a few weeks ago and think that it is great. Thank you.
    I just had to comment on this episode seeing as i visited the Soviet Union in 1971. I’m canadian and at the time i was 15. I was on a british educational Baltic Cruise, along with 400 other teenagers. As the lone Canadian i was put in a group with 5 Americans, the other 25 in the group being british. We visited Moscow and Leningrad and of course our progress was completely planned. We were followed everywhere by both uniformed and plainclothed guards. Unfortunately for them we thought this was a great game and often got lost or took the wrong turn and saw much more than we should have. I vividly remember my impressions. Moscow was summed up in one word, grey. Leningrad seemed much more vibrant. I also remember thinking about how poor the people were and they all seemed unhappy. Although i will say that we did notice how clean the streets, subway, etc were. Was this normal or just a show for us, i dont know.
    The authourities, possibly In tourist, made some very bad cultural mistakes, even though you stated they studied the west. First thing we noticed was that our guide, as you mentioned a woman, didnt shave her armpits, something western women of the time would never do. In Moscow they put on a very lavish dinner for us, consisting of caviar and horse meat steaks. They obviously didnt realize that that British, Americans, and Canadians didnt eat horse meat unless they were starving and it was the only thing you could get. Half of the kids didnt eat it and the other half ate it only out of politeness. Finally we visited the Hermitage museum in Leningrad and were appalled with all the gold ornamentation and decoration on the building when we could see the poverty of the people.
    Overall none of us thought that the Soviet Union was a place we would want to live.

    Thank you for listening to my ramble,
    Scott Gilbert

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