Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Chewing gum

Dancers are responsible for a very large part of the chewing gum sales volume. They also contribute to the turnovers from sales of perfume, soap and washing powder but that's not what this post is about. Chewing gum is important because it makes your breath smell nice or at least stink less. You need top dancing skills to compensate for the bad smell. Most of us don't have those, so we chew. We eat, then we brush our teeth (oh yes, toothbrushes and toothpaste do well with dancers too), then we take a chewing gum.

This morning I had a few spare minutes at Utrecht Central Station and decided to check out chewing gum variety at a sweets stand. That was the best decision I've made today! I looked at the endless mint tastes. I love mint tea, but mint chewing gum is definitely not my thing. But there they where - two new tastes of Mentos Aqua Kiss: Watermelon/Acai and Strawberry/Mandarin. The tastes are as quirky as the ones sold in Kiev so I couldn't resist buying both.  In the bus I opened the Strawberry/Mandarin pack and got a pink-orange coloured gum out.

The smell of the little gum made something inside of me jump. It was a distant recognition I couldn't quite place yet. I put the gum with the orange (Mandarin) side on my tong. FLASHBACK!!!! It's very early eighties we are talking about. Chewing gum was made by the Moscow confectionary RotFront. It was available in four tastes: strawberry, orange, mint and... coffee! Although, chewing gum was rather unavailable just as many other things those days. Chewing gum was difficult to get and your parents and teachers would tell you a thousand times it was very bad for your health. So once you got hold of a pack with five gums they tasted oh so sweet! They were not very soft and sometimes you got a not so fresh pack, so you could actually break the gum. It didn't matter, because after chewing on it for a couple of minutes you couldn't tell the difference between fresh and old anyway. RotFront chewing gums were not suitable to pop bubbles, they were rather stiff and lost their taste within minutes. The wrappers were always the same, nothing exciting at all. Even then coffee seemed a rather odd taste for a chewing gum. But heaven what a delicious treat it was!

Instead of the bus from Utrecht to Houten I suddenly found myself at a camping not far from Kiev. My cousins and I are standing in the shadow of the large pine trees, our bare feet are covered in sand and dust. We hold a little competition: you hold a piece of chewing gum between your teeth and pull at it with your fingers. Who can pull the longest thread?

If you want to lose yourself for a moment in your Soviet childhood, buy the Mentos Aqua Kiss Strawberry/Mandarin. The pink side works too!

1 comment:

  1. Funny! When I was little the only chewing gum available in Spain came in long flat strips, which were very often also dry and you could break them. But after chewing for a while it became all soft again. I haven't had one of those in ages! Maybe I should see if they sell them in Utrecht ;)

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