Monday, January 7, 2019
Visitors from behind the Iron Curtain
My brother in law came to see us for the holidays. He brought along his girlfriend and her parents. What makes this unusual is that her parents are from Slovakia and don't speak English. The girlfriend and her parents grew up in East Europe under the Soviet Union.
We went on a Caribbean cruise for Christmas, and then we all came back here and spent a week touring Central Florida with them. The four of them went to the Kennedy Space Center, but we didn't go with them on that trip.
With the youngest of the three translating, I learned a lot about Slovakian culture, and life in the Soviet Union. They told stories of nationwide drills involving the wearing of gas masks. We took them shopping, and they were amazed at the selection of goods and groceries, as well as the prices. One of the things that surprised me was them telling me that we have more available clothing sizes. Apparently, sizes are hit and miss, and as long as you get something that even remotely fits, you should grab it. Another surprise for them was that the clothes for sale came from all over the world.
We took them to Bealls department store, which is a Florida chain store that carries a lot of lightweight clothing and other goods that are styled for Florida. They bought $400 of clothes on sale (they didn't even know what coupons are). We had to get them an extra suitcase to carry the stuff.
We then went grocery shopping and they posed for pictures in the store, standing in the aisles next to all of the food. They had never seen that large of a selection of produce, and were amazed by the number and size of turkeys on sale.
Eastern Europe still suffers from the after effects of more than 4 decades of Soviet rule. Remember that this is what the Democrats want for this country.