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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Supermarkets Brought City A New World

Supermarkets were opened several years ago in Moscow. And the city's landscape began to look absurd as a result. On the unremarkable, dirty and poorly lit streets, luxurious, shiny, glassed and absolutely unfamiliar stores began to spring up. Of course, there was nothing particularly special about the goods on the shelves. But to a Russian, they seemed lavish.


The customers were made up mostly of foreigners, rich people and kids. Children would spend hours in front of an aquarium filled with all kinds of lobsters and sturgeon and wait for some "mister" to come along and choose from among the various fishes.


For older people, there were many other surprises. It turned out that fruits and vegetables could be eaten not only in spring and summer but year round. And not only in dried or pickled form.


You could simply buy your favorite salads without having to spend time putting together a vinegret, which depending on the recipe requires up to 10 different ingredients. Why spend time buying, boiling and cutting, when everything is ready-made and all you need to do is come and choose?


Moreover, in Moscow, where even dogs can be reluctant to go for walks on the street in winter and you often have to dig your car out from snow drifts, going to the store turns into a real affair. And if you need to buy laundry detergent, berries and hand cream, this means that you have to go to three different places, hoping the store is open and hasn't run out of what you need. If it has, this is not only frustrating but can lead to the flu.


But if you live not far from a supermarket, all these problems are solved. They are often open around the clock! Even if everything has run out at home -- from cigarettes to aspirin -- shopping usually takes no more than a half hour. There are no lines and no rude salespersons. The cashier greets you with a smile.


With time, the supermarket has become a necessary part of the good life. In principle, most of what you find in the supermarket can be bought in any other store, on the street, in metro stalls, and for much cheaper. But this is not the same thing. One of my acquaintances came to the conclusion that "between a bottle of whisky bought in the metro passageway and the same brand from a supermarket, I prefer the latter. There's far less chance of getting poisoned. Besides, it's a question of status and pure showing off."


Showing off or not, homemade salads are still incomparably more delicious than store-bought ones, supermarket berries are only appetizing to the eye, and there are always so many rude guys hanging around the charming cashiers that you feel like heading home as fast as possible. And you won't find kefir or good black bread or Georgian wine in a single supermarket.


But the problem has been solved with the appearance of minimarkets. Everything is the same, but in a Russian way. They are also open 24 hours, accept credit cards and have the same rude clerks standing around. They might not work on Sundays, but there is always kefir. Of course, there are no guarantees that they won't disappear from one day to the next. But it doesn't matter. Something will take their place. They say when a man is hungry, his head is clear.