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  • Kester Eddy

A Nice Leg of Pork, Sir? Meat on the Street, Winter, 1989 - But Where? UPDATED with results!

Updated: Jan 10

KesterTester90 - Meat deliveries in Central-Eastern Europe have changed a bit since this piccie was taken. At least, we hope so.

Photo: Something tells me this delivery merchant would not quite meet European Union health and safety standards even back then, let alone today. And quite right too! (Brussels is not all bad, you know - it actually works to protect its citizens!)


I took this piccie exactly 33 years + a week or two ago in what, at the time, we called "Eastern Europe". It does, of course, mean there was meat availble in this place (which was not always true everywhere), even if the delivery methods were, shall we say, 'basic'?


But where was this piccie taken?


Answers via email or the website system, if you would, please put in KT90 somewhere so I don't miss your entry for fame and fortune!


I wonder if I might actually win a KesterTester for once with this one, at least if I toughen up and don't give any more clues. That way I can buy myself two beers for Christmas :)


Whatever, I have given another clue (or two) for KesterTester89 - that's Elvis - in case you found that one difficult, super softee that I am.


Now, get sleuthing! :)


UPDATE: The Competitors & Result!

I was a little surprised by the fierce competition for this Tester. First in was Tom Chilton: “Hi boyo,” Hi boyo? What next? I have to say, seeing as this is a globally recognised, international competition, some competitors ought to show some sort of respect! I put it all down to Lonnie Donegan and the outbreak of skiffle. However, what with GDPR and EU competition rules, etc, I cannot show prejudice, so I have to put up with this sort of thing. “It's a country that uses the cyrillic alphabet that had a film festival in November 1989. There has been a heavy snowfall recently but the chairs stacked up suggest that people were sitting outside not that long ago. It could be Bulgaria or Serbia but I don't think major cities there would get that much snow in November. I think it's Ukraine and there is an annual film festival in Kiev, so that's my guess. TLC A site message then flashed, and oh dear, I must update my carcass recognition skills, at least if Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann is to be believed: “KT90, Nice one! The language on the banner could be Bulgarian or Macedonian (I hope there aren't too many Bulgarian readers on the blog who will take issue with the statement :)). However, there could not have been a National Palace of Culture in Skopje in 1989 so my money will be on Sofia then. Otherwise, what are you complaining about, looks like the cold chain is being preserved by the delivery system. Would have been difficult to buy a leg of pork from him though. He is delivering lamb carcasses here.” Next in was Mihály Müller: “Sofia, most probably bulevard Vitosha. Alan Sutton, fresh from the World Cup in sunny Arabia, seemed to be complaining, entitling his email “Too many clues”. “Dear Kester. Well with all that pork, it isn't Qatar.” Except I've been found guilty as charged on that one, Alan, as it isn't slaughtered Schwein in the naturally air-conditioned cart. He continued: “Putting народен дворец на културата into google translate under "detect language" gives Bulgarian, and putting the same into Wikipedia tells me that the NDK isn't a Hungarian reference to East Germany but the National Palace of Culture in Sofia and is the largest multifunctional conference and exhibition centre in south-eastern Europe. In fact, thinking about it, I have been there as it is where we had to go to collect our tickets when England played there (and won 6-0). No Pork though, Alan” Zsolt Maroti sent a most sensitive, if short entry: “OFFICIAL Sofia?” Priit Pallum swooped next: “Hi Kester. This – 1989 – was a good year, meatwise, J, forget the food standards. See https://www.helgilibrary.com/indicators/meat-consumption-total/bulgaria/ Good grief, so it was. My apologies to the Bulgarian Retired Comrade State Farmers [Lamb Brigade sub-Division] Association for not noticing that great achievement! “Sofia I guess, (Dvorets kulturata was still narodni, later, in 1990, it became nacionalni). Best wishes for Christmas. Priit” Gosh, that already seems a long time ago now, Priit! But thanks for that historical statistics update! Sandor Nemeth, just a little more verbose than Mr Maroti, had a go: “I think the piccie was taken in Sophia, Bulgaria.” All of which paved the way for Steven Nelson, who quothed big time in the vernacular: “Well Kester, the Cyrillic writing is a big clue, of course. And the internet tells me that the "Народен дворец на културата" is now known as "Национален дворец на културата," or the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. So I'm going to say Sofia! Happy holidays, Steven” Finally, Otilia Dhand emailed in: “KT90 is somewhere in Bulgaria, but it does not look like the Sofia palace of culture, so I will have to do some more thinking.” Alas, you didn't avail me of your thinking plus, Otilia, and I felt I had to do the draw, such is the short patience of some readers of this site. That also made it a seven to one vote in favour of Sofia, with one abstention, kind of (life can be cruel at times, Otilia). Indeed, I was in the Bulgarian capital in those heady days of a palace coup (communist style), and so seven numbers go into the EU-approved Black Woolly Draw Hat and the winner is ;.. (most unusually), .... number 4! Step forward to a new life of celebrity status and endless demands for selfies from adoring fans, plus two beers when we next meet, one Zsolt Maroti esquire! (And personal congratulations after numerous failed attempts after several very interesting comments on the Tester photos.) I believe Mr Mihály Müller is also probably correct that it was Boulevard Vitosha where I took this piccie. I did try to identify the location from a modern map, but it rather strained the brain cells, if I'm honest, Mihály. I can certainly attest to the fact that it was one of the most imposing thoroughfares of Sofia – a sort of southeast Slavic Bond Street/Fifth Avenue if you like - although the retail offering at the time was a little limited, as I'm sure you'll appreciate. That only leaves me to say thanks and congratulations to all who entered, and especially to Zsolt Maroti, and that KT91 – Julius Meinl - is still up there and inviting your best sleuthing :)

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