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назад в СССР!

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I'll never know or experience life during Soviet times, but during some of my visits to Russia I feel like I'm transported back to that era, or even another century. The road trip is coming to an end, with the final stop today in Yaroslavl. Along the way, I explored many small towns and spent an entire day and night in a village, talking to the locals in their homes, eating freshly prepared meals, and sleeping alone in an old house in the forest! But that will be the topic of another post. Yesterday in Soligalich, I entered a small meat shop and discovered this woman. I don't know for certain, but this blue uniform looks very Soviet, especially the hat. However, the most interesting thing in the provincial shops was...can you guess from the photo? :)

The object below! I became so confused when the shop owner started moving the balls, and thought she was offering to play some type of game. Then, my Russian travel companion informed me this is the shop's "calculator" or cash register, to add up the total cost of your purchase. How does it work? I still don't understand, but I was always bad at math. :)

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The woman in the cheese shop next store was wearing this same blue outfit, but she is progressive! She had a normal adding machine, and even modern day scales to weigh the cheese.

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I think it's always good to preserve your culture, including some old customs. But, yes, I was shocked to enter many small shops in Russian provinces and see no cash register, but this wooden contraption to calculate sales. Not just one or two shops, but a lot. Is it normal for a "modern" country? I think not. But maybe older people are so tied to tradition that they don't even want to purchase a basic calculator, which I assume is inexpensive in Russia. Progress in thought, technology, infrastructure...all signs of a healthy nation and culture in my view.

So many other things to write about, but I have no time on the road. :( On this trip, I've  met a lot of friendly Russians, and experienced no hostility based on the fact that I'm American. I'm very happy about both of these things! More to come soon...


Comments

( 283 comments — Leave a comment )
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sasadad
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:21 am (UTC)
Wow!
It's marvelous! They use electronic device and old "Scheti" together.

This is not the soviet artefact - It is old Russia indeed
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:12 pm (UTC)
It's good to keep the brain active, and this requires more thought than punching buttons on a calculator. :)
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 06:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - svat_vladimir - Mar. 16th, 2015 09:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 16th, 2015 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - svat_vladimir - Mar. 16th, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
mjol1nir
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:26 am (UTC)
This is our nano technologies! The last issue of Skolkovo innovation center.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:12 pm (UTC)
I read online that they also use this thing in Asia and Africa. I've been to a few Asian countries, but have never seen it anywhere until this trip.
(no subject) - mjol1nir - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:35 am (UTC)
What you call a normal adding machine is actually a full-featured cash register machine with encrypted data storage unit, cooler than in USA
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:13 pm (UTC)
I prefer more modern inventions, esp. for math and number calculations. :)
(no subject) - perycalypsis - Mar. 2nd, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:29 am (UTC) - Expand
aslapintheeye
Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:51 am (UTC)
Oh, some of us, stilll remember, how to calculate manipulate Big Data on that stuff ))
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:14 pm (UTC)
You know how to use this? And what did you use it for? Next time I'm in Russia, you can teach me. :)
(no subject) - vasha_masha - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
It's extremely simple. - xpo_xpo_xpo - Mar. 8th, 2015 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
asharky
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
«Wooden contraption»™ can operate without electricity and without batteries or rechargeable batteries. Even if a power failure in the village shop will continue to work.
natasmirnoff
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:18 am (UTC)
I lived in the Soviet time, all my childhood and youth in the Soviet 70-80e. Uniforms Soviet sellers was white)) was a special standard and sanitary standards for uniforms sales staff .. The sample photos for perestroika era
strange to see the abacus .. very few people can use them))
I knew a woman, she could multiply and divide, and calculate the square root by abacus

Edited at 2015-03-02 07:22 am (UTC)
(no subject) - asharky - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - natasmirnoff - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inescher - Mar. 2nd, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - volgota - Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
andruhon
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:15 am (UTC)
Wow. I haven't seen these abacus things for ages.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:16 pm (UTC)
I never saw them until this trip, probably because we were in much smaller cities this time.
(no subject) - andruhon - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
naysayer15
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:23 am (UTC)
Then, my Russian travel companion...

belenki is Jewish. Stop calling him "Russian". He has nothing to do.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, a Russian Jew. And, what does it have to do with anything?
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 02:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - noddeat - Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 4th, 2015 07:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - racoonbear - Mar. 4th, 2015 10:03 am (UTC) - Expand
homo_creativus
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:25 am (UTC)
Well, even for me as a native it's very hard (next to impossible :)) to explain why they keep using "shoty" instead of a calculator. One of the darkest corners of mysterious russian soul ;)
vasha_masha
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:31 am (UTC)
Что загадочного в том, что в глубинках прогресс отстает? Разве это особенность России?
(no subject) - homo_creativus - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vasha_masha - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - homo_creativus - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asharky - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vasha_masha - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - homo_creativus - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asharky - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - homo_creativus - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asharky - Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - homo_creativus - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bab_ush_ka - Mar. 4th, 2015 11:35 am (UTC) - Expand
vasha_masha
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:27 am (UTC)
Меня счеты смущают меньше, чем отсутствие шапочки у продавца сыра.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:22 pm (UTC)
And no gloves! In U.S. stores, workers are required to wear them when cutting meats and cheeses.
addiska
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
I haven't seen abacus since my childhood. I really feel nostalgic remembering the old times. I visited Russian province lask week and expected to see the abacus in the small shops, but I didn't see any. And here they are. You've made my day :) Thanks for the photos!!
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
anishenko_v_v
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:46 am (UTC)
Один мудрец сказал своему ученику:
- Оглядись и постарайся запомнить три вещи коричневого цвета и закрой глаза.
Ученик сделал как было велено. Но мудрец ему задал следующий вопрос:
- Теперь назови вещи... синего цвета!
Ученик растерялся и возмутился: «Я ничего синего не заметил, ведь я запоминал по твоей указке только вещи коричневого цвета!»
На что мудрый человек ответил ему: «Открой глаза, осмотрись ведь в комнате очень много вещей синего цвета.» И это было чистой правдой. Тогда мудрец продолжил: "Этим примером, я хотел тебе показать, что ты должен видеть всё, а не только то, что желаешь."

Избирательность признак дурного воспитания.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:34 pm (UTC)
Russians love proverbs! :))
(no subject) - anishenko_v_v - Mar. 3rd, 2015 05:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryanka - Mar. 3rd, 2015 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anishenko_v_v - Mar. 3rd, 2015 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
vitsky
Mar. 2nd, 2015 07:49 am (UTC)
Calculators are for dweebs! Only счёты, only hardcore! :)

By the way, wikipedia say, that in English it is called "russian abacus":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacus#Russian
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:35 pm (UTC)
Parts of this trip were extremely "hard-core," esp. spending the day and night in a real Russian village. But it was the best experience of the journey.
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 3rd, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 3rd, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 4th, 2015 05:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naysayer15 - Mar. 4th, 2015 07:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 4th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC) - Expand
me_frai
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:02 am (UTC)
in some aspects wooden calculator is more useful than a "modern" digital one. especially under conditions of russian provincial town.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC)
How is it more useful? I think a basic calculator is more useful, regardless of whether it's being used in a big city or province.
(no subject) - me_frai - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bab_ush_ka - Mar. 4th, 2015 11:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 4th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - volgota - Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand
How is it more useful? - elgreco - Mar. 4th, 2015 11:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: How is it more useful? - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 4th, 2015 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:05 am (UTC)
en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Abacus#Russian

Ancient mechanical calculator, basically.
qi_tronic
Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:11 am (UTC)
BTW on these photos they both have cash registers with memory (they have to, by the law).
On the first photo you can see it partly on the very left.

The other question is why they use an abacus instead of an electric calculator.
I read somewhere that people who are used to it can make calculations using an abacus faster than you can press buttons on a calculator :)

Of course, younger people don't know how to use this ancient device :)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Mar. 2nd, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
chuk_and_gek
Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:08 am (UTC)
помню, мы в школе счёты на математике проходили, один урок занимало. сейчас наверняка уже нет в программе.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
You had a lesson about using the abacus?
(no subject) - mila_xm - Mar. 3rd, 2015 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chuk_and_gek - Mar. 3rd, 2015 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
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