Posts Tagged ‘Woityla


L’enfance aux pays socialistes

I am now reading another graphic novel: Marzi, by Sowa and Savoia. The childhood of a Polish girl (Sowa). Marzi is set in the 80s and there’s Jaruzelskij and Chernobyl, Solidarnosc and the Pope.

In a sense it’s my teenage years. I remember the empty shelves of the Emona Slovenian supermarkets. The availability of just one brand of biscuits. Chocolates had to be with cherry filling. The difference is that we would travel across the border, to Yugoslavia, to do some selected shopping. The first private butchers started to appear in Slovenia and their home-slaughtered meats were very good. They preferred to sell to foreigners in order to make bigger profits.

Sometimes we felt awkward because the locals were queuing at the state-owned shops. We felt we were “robbing” them of their best products. But on the other hand, with the somewhat “harder” currency (the lira!) the butcher could invest in livestock and employ some people, and change some lives. We were very fond of our Slovenian butchers.

We would buy meat, yogurt (which was much better than the Italian one) and sometimes I insisted in having my Dad buying me some Napolitaner (wafers with a pink packaging – State products) and the legendary Pez candies with their capitalistic-Disney plastic dispensers.

Later, during my teenage years, I had many penpals from the Socialist Countries. And learnt what a Pewex store was from my friend Gregorz from Czestochowa and what the STASI was from my many DDR friends.

We were not living in a socialist country. But in Triest we knew very well what it meant.

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