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Food Memoir - Michal Mielech The first candy bar There are...

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Michal Mielech “The first candy bar” There are moments in our lives that, for no matter how old we are, stay in our memory so bright like they happened just yesterday. When we close our eyes we can travel in time to our past and feel like we were there. One of my magic moments took place when I was five. It was in 1985 in Gdansk, Poland where I was born and grew up. At that time in Poland there was Communism and it was unthinkable for anyone that it would end in four years and Poland would look like other democratic countries. Communism had many bad sides, but for a five year old boy the biggest problem was that there were empty shelves in the toy stores, except mangy, gray or dark brown bears and terrifying children`s dolls. The second huge problem was that it was really difficult to buy sweets. When someone was lucky, I mean was in the right place (near or in the grocery shop) and was there at proper time (just after the acceptance of goods), he or she could buy candies or lollipops that all tasted the same or chocolate like products (similarity only in color). The only product that connected children in Poland and children in the democratic west was the bubble gum named Donald with short cartoon stories inside. The whole world in my eyes looked gray: buildings, streets, even clothes or cars but there was one place in whole Gdansk that looked different. That place was a shop named PEWEX. It was the place that looked like stores of today with lot of various stuff on the shelves. The problem was that the acceptable currency in that shop was the US dollar and the possession of dollars in that time was prohibited. The government controlled the currency exchange. The privilege to posses the dollars had only senior party officials and seamen that earned salaries in dollars. For men in the street it was almost impossible to get dollars and buy something in Pewex.
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