It’s time to learn more about Dima’s boyhood and extended family. An intimate dinner at home with his father and uncle, powerful Soviet generals, offers us a peek into his heart. And what’s all this about Ian becoming a fair prince at a glittering ball?
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While some of us who know a little about Russian culture may expect dinner to mean multiple small dishes featuring delicacies of smoked and fresh fish, elaborate soups and dumplings, mushrooms and pickled vegetables, those are special foods meant for special occasions. In my own experience dining en famille with my Russian teachers, mostly recent defectors from the USSR, dinner was more commonly a warming soup or casserole with good bread. I’ve tried to duplicate that here.
Glittering Four Powers affairs were big events in divided Berlin. Diplomats and military officers dressed to the nines for balls straight out of a James Bond film. The Americans, Brits, and French mostly dominated the events, but once in while lines of Zill limousines filled with Soviet officers would pull up, and the evening would get interesting. In the storyline that follows, I base all my description on events I actually attended.
The Tempelhof NCO Club backroom with slot machines is drawn accurately from my memory, right down to the embarrassed officer’s wife who in real life had a serious gambling problem.
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