Estonian life in 1970s and 1980s Estonia was full of paradoxes. On the one side, tough restrictions, inflexible ideology and lack of the essential commodities. On the other side many people who were living at that time were extremely resourceful, creative and clever. Funny and absurd stories from the Soviet era can be heard at the Viru Hotel KGB museum and at the new exhibitions of the Tallinn TV tower.
The 1970s and 1980s were characterised by shops without merchandise, a desire for goods from the West and endless queues. Ironically people would say, " All that you can't find in the Soviet Union! No hot water, no private phone lines, no bananas..." Bananas were seen only on pictures or at the cinema.
There was a strong push to standardise everything at state level. Identical looking cars, stores with the same selection of merchandise, the same sorts of buildings, the same sorts of flats occupied by people with similar-looking clothes and even similar thoughts going through their minds. In spite of the regime's attempts, people rejected total conformism. They tried to survive, get by and do so with as much comfort as possible – despite the meagre conditions. This is the story told by our exhibition "There are no bananas. Time travel to Soviet daily life ". At the other exhibition of the TV tower, called "The Smock and the Apron" you can see women's homewear from the Soviet Era.
Both of these exhibitions are open at Tallinn TV Tower until 30 September. Buses 34 A and 38 go to the TV tower (stop Teletorn) from next to Hotel Viru, and you can also get there on the CityTour and CitySightseeing buses (the green line, Mere pst – TV tower).
Original Sokos Hotel Viru's KGB Museum takes the visitors to the secret 23rd floor. When Hotel Viru was built forty-five years ago, KGB spying devices and microphones were installed there from the very beginning. At the excursions, visitors can hear all these thrilling stories. You can now book a tour conveniently through our booking system www.viru.ee