Monday, 1 July 2013

GUM's 120th anniversary, resting retiree and some new obesity victims

    People after retirement receive 300Eu from the government and stay at home for the rest of the life. Lucky elders get some money from successful kids, the rest balance on an edge of poverty. No trips are available for their modest income. Not being able to travel at all, they count rubles to buy milk. 
    Weekends are the quiet time for them. They take stools and sit on narrow balconies for hours, watching passers by. 

    The GUM, the most beautiful shopping centre in Moscow celebrates it's 120th birthday. The building is a spectacular example of Russian and European look, under the biggest passage roof in Europe. Located on the Red Square opposite to Lenin's mausoleum, it's a must see for both foreigners and Russians (while it stays a museum for the last group of visitors). 

    The GUM was famous and popular during the Soviet era, it kept the best choice of textiles, neck-ties and clothes, unseen in rural areas. My granma from a far province came to stand long queues to procure the best for her two daughters. It was not an easy job even in this consumer's paradise! She had to stand in a queue for hours. 

    Nevertheless it is the most cheerful shop in the city :) It keeps a tradition of artistic decorations for holidays, organises exhibitions, bakes it's own perfect  bread and feeds good food.

    Obesity has become a major problem here in Moscow. The most curious thing is that 45-55y.o. and teens became it's first victims. 45-55y.o., stayed under the pressure of Soviet deficit for too long, can't stop eating widely available delicatessen and fast food such as MacDonald's. Our MacDonald's is full of them! Some do not see the danger and enjoy tasty snacks 5-6 times a day with of without tea. Youngsters are not aware of risks due to the lack of proper information and national programs. Both groups get a doctor's advice to loose weight, but no one takes it seriously and continue to drink soda in attractive bottles, a luxury in Soviet Union. Kids graduating from school are already chubby, even being 16!

    The man was sleeping in a cafe, not able to stay awake for longer than 5 minutes. I've heard it's common for morbide obese patients to experience sleepiness, but had never seen it with my own eyes. The irony is the sufferer was not eating at all, but drank liters of tea and some water. 

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