Moscow, Coats and Unrequited Love

I'm in love!  Once upon a time, many years ago, I lived in Moscow and on my more retail therapy driven days would frequent the famous GUM on Red Square.  Often referred to as a 'department store' this is something of a misnomer, as it is a collection of approximately 200 different shop units, so perhaps the ghastly American word 'mall' would be more apt.

Unfortunately (for a visitor, but perhaps not a citizen), I didn't get to Russia before the days of glasnost and perestroika when the beautiful late nineteenth century building of GUM would have been full of state-made goods.  Being one of the few shops not to have chronic shortages in those dark years, queues to purchase these goods often stretched across the city centre.  But by the time I was occasionally frequenting the hallowed glass hallways, many of the units were occupied by high-end designer brands from the West, with products and prices way beyond the reach of most Muscovites.

On one sojourn into the echoing hallways, I ventured into the Calvin Klein boutique, in quest of some underwear and a particular pair of lacy woollen tights I had spotted in the window.  Alas en route to these albeit expensive necessities, I was accosted by a stunning wool coat of finest dove grey, with fabric that felt like kitten fur, just beautiful.  It also carried a VERY hefty price tag.

Of course, my meagre income was no match for that price tag and the coat was lost, but not before it had been visited and stroked many times.  I wonder if the eventual owner ever noticed one sleeve wearing thinner than the other?  It was, as you can tell, a tragic loss.  But...

I have found a near-identical replacement for my affections!



  1. Love your Moscow story of the much coveted coat in GUM. If I were married to a Russian oligarch, I'd buy this coat for you and me. ;)


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