Timisoara, Romania. The Museul Consumatorului Comunist is in the basement of the Scart Bar. The museum is free, but having a drink is protocol for the visit, before descending the stairs. The cluttered funky bar sets the tone.
There's a small sign at the top of the stairs. This "consumer" museum represents a typical Romanian apartment, jammed with everything that Romanian's could buy during the Soviet era, before 1989.
It's cold, dark, musty, narrow and cluttered.
A museum is traditionally a place of preservation and storytelling. However selective or subjective that might be, museums provide some "closure" that way. But like an intentionally avoided "back shed", this basement could be called an anti-museum. Stuff is disintegrating for real, in every way. Without context, or information, stories are left to your own imagination, and your own gut.
If this is an anti-museum, then it's full of free-floating associations and unresolved thoughts. For older Romanians, it must stir up confusing memories. Add to that an air of campy humor, and genuine revulsion, as if we secretly want it all to just disappear for real.
But the piggy's plea for donations suggests that there is a sense of responsibility towards this collection...
An optional second drink completes the visit.