Your bag lady here (and things about Russia)

So, now I’m almost finished with the bag project. And just as guessed, a lot of the bags needed adjusting! It’s a funny thing how difficult it is to understand what you are reading. I think the instructions were clear enough, but still most of the bags were far from ideal.

And it seems that again, fear the ones that carry in more than few bags. If one person/group brings in 15 bags, rest assured that those bags are crap. Filled with worn out socks, wrong size clothes, missing soap… the donation link is still up, but I’m taking it down soon. I still need to buy a few things, so any help would be appreciated!

But it seems that the grad total of bags is going to be around 75. It’s not much, but it will keep 75 toddlers warm next winter in Karelia. And I still think that it could have been as bad here if things had gone differently during World War II.

And I’ve actually been in Russia, or it was quite a while ago so actually I’ve been in USSR. I’m guessing there is a big amount of you who have never been there. I remember how someone was sick in the bus and threw up in a plastic bag. The bag was thrown in a garbage can. After a while someone local was searching the garbage and found the bag of puke, took it and left with a big smile.

You could not exchange money in Finland, it had to be done in country. And the exchange rate was quite expensive. So we would take unused pantyhose or underwear or condoms with us and sell them to the locals for a good price. One time a woman came to our hotel room and looked through all our clothes and bought those we were willing to sell.

Then there were these shops that only sold things for tourists. You could not buy anything from it with rubles. So the locals would trade your money with a better rate than the official places, as they could shop in these stores with Finnish money.

Does not sound too great, does it? I do not know how things are now, I’m sure it’s different but I’m also sure it’s not any better. So I’m really glad the border is where it is. And I’m on this side of it.

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One response to “Your bag lady here (and things about Russia)

  1. I think it’s amazing that you’ll be able to help 75 toddlers in Russia. Truly amazing. Congrats!

    I’ve always wanted to go to Russia at some point. I took Russian for two years in high school. Funny, when I was in Poland (where they spoke some Russian) people would much rather gesture than speak Russian.

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