I was discussing my post on my childhood memories of Russia with my mother the other day when she said to me "I have no recollection of Mama cutting up brown paper to use in the bathroom. Are you sure it was brown paper?"

"Yes," I replied. "It's one of my most vivid memories."

"Strange," my mum said. "I remember her singing while cooking, and sitting at the sewing machine, but not this."

"But surely you remember extended periods of not having any actual toilet paper available, right?"

"Oh, yes!" she assured me. "That was definitely the case, especially toward the end when we were there, it was very hard to get toilet paper anywhere. In fact, toilet paper was considered the best gift you could bring with you to a dinner party at that time. Much more appreciated than alcohol or cake!"

Postscript for Day #255 “Childhood Nostalgia”


  1. The cutting of brown paper squares was my most vivid memory of that post from last week. It’s such a powerful statement….how something we take for granted might not be available elsewhere. Great comparison to all the other things we take for granted

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are, of course, right about being conscious of not taking small luxuries for granted. But for better or for worse, that’s almost never what I think about when I recall this. I am always struck, first and foremost, with the absurdity of the situation. How the mighty Soviet Empire, Victor of WWII, first county to put a man in space, couldn’t even keep a steady supply of basic consumer goods in its capital city.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it’s the good for the nation vs good for the individual…..they didn’t think toilet paper mattered in the larger scheme of things. Well,that’s how I see it.

        Liked by 1 person

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