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An Eye on Russia

August 07, 1988

In Art Wild's "The U.S.S.R." (July 24), he wrote that he observed "armies of tour groups from many countries" wandering through the cavernous lobby of Moscow's Kosmos Hotel. We were there October, 1987, and it was as he described it--a fascinating place. While we were interested in the great variety of people, we were puzzled because so many guests had bandages on their heads. We thought that it was the result of some catastrophe.

We discovered that the hotel had an operating room and that it did eye-related surgery. Afterward the hotel's room service takes care of the recuperating patients. However, no traveler of any nationality can get room service. At first we were a bit put off by this. On reflection, it does seem to be a good use of scarce resources and it seems unique to Moscow. This was just one example of how a frugal and practical people were dealing with their needs in the best possible way.

GERALD G. KNAPTON

Pasadena

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