Litera K

Back in the Lipscani area there was one of those horrid streets, the exclusive territory of the Gypsies who dealt in stuff like this, Kent, Alvorada coffee, BT cigarettes, Amigo Nescafe. This was the famous Kent street, a place where you could enter with money in your pocket and get out penniless. You could never know. I once went there with my dad, and went into one of those grottoes, where you couldn?t even see where you placed your foot, they were so dark. You gave the money and got the cigarettes. (D. O., 114)

If you happened to give someone a carton of Kent cigarettes and a bottle of whisky all wrapped up in a pack, and if you were in a position to be likely to receive such gifts, you might well see the same pack returning to you some day. (I. H., 48)

The same story with the doctors. For a minor visit, one pack of Kent; for a seven-day holiday, a whole carton. If you had friends who were doctors you would receive Kent packs from them. Puiu gave the doctor a pack, the doctor gave it to me, and I gave the pack to Puiu to give it to the doctor. (I. H., 54)

Let?s not forget that post-?90 folklore registered the change in this area, too. They say that whenever they went out on strike the APACA women workers would yell out: ?We don?t care for Kent smoke, we don?t care if we?re broke, just let Roman shack us all.? (I. P.)


People would knit and crochet a lot. Bad quality wool purchased from a haberdashery smelling of gas, then wool bought from peasants, and finally mohair in the 80?s. Dresses, hats, jackets, gloves, vests, scarves, socks? You were allowed to knit during work. Knitting was the same as breathing for secretaries. Those who had money would use mohair, the rest would use old pullovers, and turn them into new ones.

In the 80?s, the Plastic Stock shops launched the fashion of knitwear made of unspun wool. People from Maramures and the Aromanians launched this type of wool. Shop assistants used to wet it before weighing it, to be heavier. (111)

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