By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
I have no idea why anyone would want to put themselves through something like this (you’d think they’d be glad to see the back of a regime like the USSR) but apparently Lithuanians can now go to a theme park to relive the days of the Soviet Union.
An enterprising Lithuanian decided to turn an ex-Soviet bunker into a place where nostalgic citizens can for a while pretend they are back in the old days. Young people can also visit and learn about their country’s past so I guess there’s an upside to the place too.
The entrance fee is $44 for two and a half hours (does it include popcorn and coke and sitting on Stalin’s knee?). You then step back into 1984 as a Soviet citizen. All your possessions, including money, cameras and phones are handed over and under the watchful eye of guards and guard dogs, you change into threadbare Soviet coats and are herded through the bunker (wow, I’m enjoying myself already!)
You then watch TV programs from 1984 (Sorry, no Muppets Show, they’re too capitalist!), wearing gas masks, learning the Soviet anthem under duress (“sing or we whip your ass you American CIA capitalist dog!”), eating typical Soviet food (hmmm, vodka soup!) and even have a concentration-camp-style interrogation and medical check (hey, get out of there!). Man, does the fun never end?
Reading the article, I was struck by the paragraph :
The Soviet Bunker is not a theme park for the faint-hearted; all of the actors involved in the project were originally in the Soviet army and some were authentic interrogators, however there are performances tailored specifically for school groups so they know when to cool it, too. Before heading back into the real world, participants are treated to a shot of vodka.
It makes me wonder if the guy in the picture at the top is one of the ones with a faint heart!