Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Castaway on an "Island of Capitalism"

During the years of socialism in eastern Europe (I mean when the communists held sway, you know, COMECON, USSR controled business empire of communist nations) there were individual Foreign Trade Organizations within these economies responsible for various sections of the economic trade.

For example, in Czech Republic they had SkodaExport, responsible for engineering projects, TechnoExport responsible for turnkey operations such as idustrial plant operation and exporting of technology in the form of qualified engineers, or Omnipol which, I believe, did chemical and petroleum products. Or did they export guns?

Anyway, these organs were called 'islands of capitalism" because they operated as businesses, looking to handle the natural trade of Czech products and services, with the parent being the State, or goverment.

Today I met a fellow that used to operate in Arab countries and Eastern Bloc countries, doing various things for trade for the Czechoslovak government. He regaled me with stories of the wonderful life during those times. He could get anything. He had such a diplomatic life.

"And the girls..." he mused, with a nice smile on his face.

For two guys with Wanderlust, (i had to explain this word to him , but he understood and agreed wholeheartedly), it was a relaxing and pleasureable concept, sitting, as we were, out side on the Vltava River, having a few Gambrinus beers.

Amusingly he told me later, "oh and I met one of my favorite girlfriends from those days, just last week!"

"But you know what?" he went on, "She is an old lady now!"


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