It was like going to visit a summer palace built for a queen and later requisitioned by socialists, restored and opened to the public as a museum — with socialist-royalist gift shop.
It was like marveling at the former drawing room turned into the socialists’ council chamber, the massive drab-green upholstered furniture arranged under the queen’s gilded mirrors, which the socialists left on the walls.
It was like noticing that the socialists had left the bourgeois gilded filigree mirrors hanging on the walls, and reading on the wall panel that the socialists’ drab green furniture had actually cost “a small fortune.”
It was like lingering in a bedroom that had hosted the dreams of princes, and then the dreams of Castro, Qaddafi, Gorbachev, and Ceausescu . . . and feeling a frisson of excitement about what you’ll find in the gift shop.