The Mystery of the Dunnes Stores Bags

20110916-095732.jpg

I’m about to drop off the edge of the Internet for a while again, on a three day trip from Ulan Ude to Vladivostok. Before I go though, I leave you with a mystery.

A long time ago, when I was in Moscow, I spotted a granny on the Metro, carrying her groceries in a familiar-looking bag. Closer inspection revealed that it was indeed a Dunnes Stores “Bag for Life”. Weird, I thought, and kept on about my business.

Except that I’ve seen them a few times since then, all across Russia. The one in my possession, pictured above, came from a Russian tour guide, who said that her company had handed them out to its staff.

So just why are Dunnes Stores bags so popular behind the former Iron Curtain? Do they have prized aesthetic or structural qualities? Do their owners dream of coming to Ireland and shopping under the hallowed green banner one day? Or did Dunnes just make far too many of the things and flog them off to foreign markets to recoup some cash?

Answers on a postcard please. (Don’t send them anywhere, just write them on a postcard.)