Milk cartons labeled simply "Milk" hail from two disparate worlds: Hollywood prop shops and Soviet grocery stores. Hollywood milk is brandless to avoid trademark squabbles, but Soviet milk is brandless because, well, who needs a brand when the entire consumer market is a state monopoly? Today's stores in Almaty hawk Coca-Cola your way before you even walk in the door, but for once it's fair to say that the Soviet years were "simpler times": "BREAD" and "MEAT" was the only advertising that greeted a shopper. Indeed, you can still see rusty metal lettering above some buildings, broadcasting the fact that BREAD was sold in the shop below, and in some windows you can see the old signs painted directly on the glass, the staples, like sausage and cheese, shown in cartoonish shorthand. What is curious, however, is that most of these Soviet-style signs aren't Soviet. You can tell they were put up in the independence age. It seems that the shop proprieters are, like nostalgic designers everywhere, trying to evoke a certain time, a certain mood, when a brick of bread cost just a few kopeks. Nevermind the food lines. Let the fond memories live on as flaking paint on shop windows.