Gas & Oreo



They say a good flashback can bring out a good story. Don’t know. Today I had a flashback related to gasoline and Oreo cookies. Sounds like a good story?

In the early 1990s, UPDK, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for assistance to the diplomatic corps, took care of all needs of foreign reporters working in Moscow. 

There were two problems, however, that they had to handle on their own: gasoline, which was in short supply, and Oreo cookies, which were unavailable. The problem with gas was resolved by using the services of crafty Russians who bought the fuel on the black market and resold it to foreigners with a good profit margin. The problem with “the word’s favorite cookie” was unresolvable…

I had this flash from the past when I entered a gas station and, while a serviceman was filling up my car, reviewed goodies on the shelves. Sure enough, Oreo cookies were there, as were the ubiquitous Mars and Snickers “chocolate” bars.  

I’m not sure I will eat the sweet thingies, but I bought a small package for illustration purposes.