The first flashbacks from my childhood in communist Poland in the 1980s appeared after the first UK lockdown when I observed a long queue to the bank in Oxford's deserted city centre. I had been there before, surely. I was queueing with my grandma to the grocery shop. It was a long and painful process, and when we got to the counter what was left of that day’s daily supplies was only bottles of vinegar and one bar of chocolate. There was something tender in that memory – the joy of getting something, not going away empty-handed. There was also something terrifying in the striking moment of realisation that aspects of my life in the West had started evoking moments of life in a dysfunctional regime behind the Iron Curtain. This image became a catalyst for an outpouring of flashbacks.
Eastern Bloc - lockdown - Iron Curtain - tension - flashback - childhood - People's Poland - Western democracy - pandemic - tyranny - dystopia - control - regime - social order