Queues in the USSR

Probably there were always queues. How many years mankind has existed, so much is there a line. Behind a piece of fried mammoth, to the spring at the watering place. Who is stronger - ahead, who is weaker - behind.
But, only in Soviet times, the queue turned into a QUEUE. In a very special phenomenon, with its unwritten laws, with its terminology, the idea of ​​good and bad ...
Let's talk about the queue without gloating. After all, it was not just a part of our life, but, undoubtedly, left an imprint on the very essence of a person in waiting list, it became part of the genotype.
Probably, the culture of the Soviet line began to take shape in the 30s, when, on the one hand, there was something beyond which one could stand, but on the other hand, this something was sorely lacking ...
In 1937, the historian and teacher Filevsky wrote in his diary:
... the shops are luxuriously decorated, the queues for shoes and manufactory are indescribable, which stand not for hours, but for days. In grocery stores it is also very difficult to buy, because, due to the small number of employees, the queues are very large and to buy a kilo of millet you have to stand at the cash desks and the seller for a quarter and half an hourto choose a product and ask something from a dashed seller and say nothing.
On the queues developed its own language. Everyone stopped asks: who is the last? He answers: "I". The joining says: “I am yours,” and then asks: “What is being given?”. The word "give" sounds irony. In Rostov
they say: "What is thrown out?" There is already evil sarcasm. Recently, they are protesting if someone asks: “Who is the last?”, Considering this question insulting, and introducing: “Who is the last one”.
After all, as traditions are alive! These template phrases have become part of the life of the Soviet people for many decades))
The lines in the USSR were long-term (strategic), medium-term (tactical) and short-term (operational).
The first type could include a queue for an apartment, a car. In such queues, people stood for years. and sometimes decades.
The second type was the queues for large household appliances and furniture. In this case, we could talk about a few days, sometimes weeks. Each waiting list was assigned a number, which was often written on the hand with a pen. A list was drawn up and a roll call time was scheduled.The person who missed the roll call was considered retired from the queue, and was no longer accepted back. Usually in such queues people became close, even to some extent relatives. The feeling of an early happiness, common for you and your co-waiting lists brought together)
Such queues were calm and benevolent, but exactly until the moment someone else tried to get into the monolithic one as a line of centurions.
The nervousness of the queue depended on whether there was enough for everyone what they stood for or not. For example, the queue at the Mausoleum was absolutely calm. This undoubtedly showed the confidence of the Soviet people in the future)
Conversations with neighbors in turn were usually determined by the object of desire. So, in the queue for fashionable boots, we talked about the latest trends in modern fashion, from knowledgeable people one could find out what they wear in Paris now.
The queue at the clinic gave an invaluable knowledge about all the ailments and methods of dealing with them. A ticklish moment was also discussed here - is there enough of this doctor Alyonka that would be more attentive)
The queues were shared by gender. They were feminine, masculine and collaborative.
The most inaccessible were women's queues.With external softness, it was absolutely impossible to climb the tail forward, it is dangerous to health.

The men's queues, for all the external severity, were not so strong and solid. Often there was only arrogance or a small numerical advantage in order to move the people from the counter, ignoring the traditional "you did not stand here."
The high point of the men's queues was the late Soviet period, when, through the efforts of the Party and MS personally. Gorbachev, alcohol has become a deficit.

However, in these lines the women managed to bring in an element of chaos))
Good there were queues at large department stores. First of all, they were beautiful because they whirled intricately along the relief, often streaming down stairs, bending around obstacles. Not many avant-garde artists in their installations managed to convey their grace ...
With their tails they crawled out of the departments and sections into a common corridor, as in Moscow GUM, had a special charm. One familiar traveler, arriving in Moscow, went to GUM and took a turn in three or four and sometimes more tails, not knowing what they were giving. And only after that he began to find out what the queue was for.
And there were queues of single-tail, two-tail and multi-tail. Of particular interest was the algorithm of matching two tails into a single trunk closer to the counter. Undoubtedly, there was a certain eroticism in it))
In general, I must say that with all the viciousness of this phenomenon, the queues were a very powerful communicative tool. In them, people exchanged information, learned the news, got to know each other, made the necessary connections ...
I hate to stand in lines, but I see in them a certain aesthetic beauty, a rudimentary element of civil society.

Related news

Queues in the USSR image, picture
Queues in the USSR 69

Queues in the USSR 60

Queues in the USSR 2

Queues in the USSR 77