Friday, June 23, 2017

Soviet Life Museum

Верхнеторговая пл., 1, Ufa, Respublika Bashkortostan, Russia, 450077
The other week A and I went to the Soviet Life Museum at Gostiny Dvor. We had been to a similar museum in Kazan, and it was one of the highlights of the trip. I'm not a museum person, but I like these places because you are allowed to look at, play, and try on anything you see. I'm also very passionate about antiques and vintage items, so places like this allow me to go back in time. I wasn't expecting much from the Soviet Life museum in Ufa because it's newer and I assumed that it would be smaller. I also remember coming across some photos and it looked kind of bare. However, all my assumptions went out the window when we walked it. The place looked fantastic.

When we arrived we were greeted by a man who was so friendly! Obviously I couldn't understand everything he was saying, but I could tell by the way he was talking he was extremely passionate about his job. Entrance to the museum is 150 rubles which is a steal! On your right when you walk into the entrance they have things for sale including postcards, pins, household items, and even records! After we walked through the museum I think I spent about 30 minutes trying to find records to buy. The first room consists of items for sale, the ticket table, and some artwork from a local artist.
The second room consisted of what would be the kitchen, office, living room, and wardrobe. I love that this museum was broken up into sections rather than just having everything all over the place, which was the case in Kazan. In my opinion this museum also had more to touch and try on. My favorite piece was the fur coat which was surprisingly heavy and which drowned me as soon as I put it on. In the kitchen area you could actually eat cookies and have tea at the table. We didn't try it, but I loved that it was an option. I'm also a huge fan of Soviet packaging so seeing all the old tea containers made me so happy.
All the furniture was filled with items that you could open and look at. There was an old fountain pen that we were able to use, which was fun until I realized I got in all over my hands. The desk was full of old Soviet ration cards, work cards, and photos. The desk even had someones old school book of German words. I find it surprising that so many Russians learn German. I mean, in a way it makes sense, but if America was your biggest adversary why wouldn't you learn English? I also feel this way about Americans learning Russian. I don't understand why French is taught in schools and not Russian, but that's just my opinion and what do I know?
The last room was the children's area. There were old toys, old school books, and art supplies. While we were there a group of older people came to look at the orange doll that doesn't fall over when you push it. Apparently the guy was a collector. It definitely made me think hard about become a collector of such dolls myself, but I still have a fear of dolls looking at me at night. Goosebumps ruined it for me. The Soviet toys and household items aren't much different from what I imagine my parents or grandparents had growing up, but it's a neat experience to be immersed in the past like you experience at this museum.
Sorry for all the grainy pictures. I had my ISO too high. This is what happens when you don't have a tripod and teach yourself how to use manual mode.
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