Soviet Union Where the Right People Rest

Workers seek a paradise of 55-minute suntans and early nights

The train from Moscow pulled into Sochi and disgorged passengers exhausted from the 850-mile, 30-hour journey. Waiting for them on the platform were about 100 residents of the lush Black Sea resort, some of them sweetly smiling, grandmotherly women who wanted nothing more than to share the genteel charm of their homes. "I have a nice little room to rent, a short walk to the sea, hot water, next door to a good restaurant," declared one. Two bone-weary women quickly began bidding furiously against each other for the room, even though neither had seen it, driving the price up from the...

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