With independence came a wave of new retail kiosks (also sometimes known by their Russian slang name laryoki) that offered the opportunity to experience the privileges of freedom: the freedom to trade, run your own business, and purchase goods near your home and without standing in line. From chewing gum to beer, condoms to cigarettes, cookies to socks, cheap Russian cologne to all kinds of strangely named vodka brands – conveniently located kiosks offering an array of choices made life easier for everyone and every species. Because commerce was now taking place everywhere – in markets big and small, next to retail shops, on a simple piece of cardboard thrown down on the sidewalk – actual kiosks had a solid look to them, and their owners earned the right to consider themselves proper businessmen and women.
To be sure, there was little time or reason to actually study anything like economics – the old way had collapsed but the new way had yet to emerge. The world was just beginning to be created anew. All one needed was a sense of adventure and the ability to learn from life.
But as the year 2000 approached, larger cities began considering the need to remove kiosks from city centers. Not only did they give cities a shabby look, they also brought with them sanitation problems, unpaid taxes and the sale of alcohol to minors. These kiosks exist now in our memories and in artwork from the period.