Category: World / November 29, 2012 9:23 PM EST
Shops in the Siberian city of Tomsk have begun selling Apocalypse kits which contain items advertised 'to mark the end of the world', ahead of the Dec. 21 'apocalypse' allegedly predicted by ancient Mayans.
The kits contain a bottle of vodka labeled 'Live vodka', a tin can of sardines, a box of matches, some candles, a piece of soap, a length of rope, various medicines, a bandage and a notebook, labled 'Notes to the Future'.
Store clerk Nadezhda Buyanova explained the kit's contents to a shopper:
"A heart drug just in case your heart hurts suddenly, a sedative medicine with the same effect, a bandage which is a very important thing, and activated charcoal, needed if things get extreme."
The kits, consisting primarily of items bought in a nearby shop and re-packaged, were created by the employees of a Tomsk wedding salon. The kits have been more or less popular with shoppers, and there have been requests for the packages from other cities like Moscow, Novosibirsk, St Petersburg and Kaluga.
Local Tomsk residents were divided in opinion on what items one might hypothetically need on the day the world ends.
"As for me (I would need) a white bed sheet and white shoes, what else do you need if there's Apocalypse?" said a man from Tomsk
Another resident said: "Since my husband and I like to travel, we always have buckwheat and some canned beef in fridge, so I would perhaps take water and that's it, actually. That's what is most important."
Others thought there was no point in preparing anything.
"It's stupid to take vodka, there will never be enough of it anyway. Food and anything else is also useless, we will all die," a man in the street said.
The kit creators, who have run into trouble for selling vodka and medicine without a license to do so, said they were not attempting to popularize the Apocalypse but were mostly trying to make fun of some widespread fears.
"Because of our specific wedding business we couldn't know that we needed a trading license for vodka, for medicines, even for the bandages we needed a license. It's quite strange, but you need a special license to sell a bandage. I personally as an entrepreneur didn't know about it at all. That's why it was a crazy stunt for us and a harmless prank - a joke," the originator of the kit idea, and wedding salon director Yuliana Shchegoleva said.
"Russian people want vodka no matter what, and for them it's a matter of principal. They're calling from various cities of Russia and asking "please, send us that yellow kit with the Russian vodka," she added.
The salon workers said they have found a solution to sell the kit. They have decided to patent the idea and to sell it to those shops which are licensed to trade in vodka and medicines.