Stoves were thrown away, stove... We had these iron heaters, tin heaters that had chimneys running out through the window.
Potbelly stoves, yes?
Such potbelly stoves. If we had potatoes, there was such an open and non-hot bottom, we sliced them, washed them, and fried unpeeled. And then we ate. With pleasure.
What about candies?
First I tried chocolate candies. But then I got to know that these were soy-bean candies. They were the cheapest ones. When I rafted people over the river, I made some money; it cost five kopecks per person. The river overflew and I could earn some money, at least one ruble. I used to go home for a sleep, and I didn’t have … anything there. So I used to call at the so called milk cafe that already appeared after the war, no, before the war, yes, before the war. I was probably about 14 years old. So I called at the milk cafe, took a «snezhok» (transl. Snowball – frozen dessert with syrup) and a bun for 36 kopecks, these buns are called now «town buns», you probably know it. And we called them French buns. And if I had more money left I went to the sausage shops. I called at them and asked, «Aunty Marusya, do you have off-cuts?» She cut it like this, and she used to answer, «Ok, let me see, there were lots of strings». Well, these were usually discarded them. But sold us the off-cuts. She used to give me these off-cuts, and for me that was a rush! Oh, don’t say that! I was loaded up! And also this... Oh! I don’t look back; I don’t feel bad about the life I got through. You know it was difficult. First of all, I learned how to earn money; I understood clearly that if you weren’t lazy you would have everything. When we came to Kharkov, to this Magadan, I had an eight-hour working day already, I had some free time. But to tell the truth, Saturdays were labour days. So, I got up at 5 in the morning, went to the river. I knew that they gave out 2 200 kg of meat per coupon, that amount was per month. Together with bones, with everything, they chopped meat there. And if you took canned foods you would get half as less. In case you took canned stewed pork or something like this. So I went there and took some fish for fish broth. Then, our mother taught herself to do... so I shot gulls, she fried or stewed them, and we ate.
Researcher: Natalja Ivashchanka, Svetlana Silava, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno