My bread is black. Everyone else’s is white. Theirs is generously lathered with peanut butter and jelly. Mine is open face, revealing butcher-cut meat, fresh greens and Russian spicy mustard. My dessert is a fig. It looks like a turd. I couldn’t be more embarrassed.
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My grandfather is the picture of a 90 year old soviet man. Injured by shrapnel from a grenade in the great patriotic war, yet he still jogs a few miles every morning. He lived through World War 2, the new economic policy, Stalin, the fall of the wall, and all the rest.
I had the chance to visit Riga, the city he lived in for all those years, along with my mom on her first trip back to Latvia since fleeing to the US as a refugee in the 70s. I would be able to understand my own roots, recounted to me through the history and stories of family I have never known . Seeing through their eyes, I would also be able to experience the contrast between communist and European Latvia. But to contrast the staunch Reaganite-conservative politics that they share with so many others refugees like them in the US with those from a much different type of conservative in Europe, would be a real treat in seeing where the future might lead.
The disco-combo Stephane and 3G [სტეფანე დ 3G] emerged triumphant as Georgia’s 2009 Eurovision entry last night. Here is a video of the winning song, “We don’t wanna put in.”
Not only a catchy disco pop tune, it also contains a not-so-subtle message to Vladimir Putin, the former President and current Prime Minister of Russia. The lyrics:
We don’t wanna put in
The negative move
It’s killin’ the groove.
I’m a-try to shoot in
Some disco tonight
Boogie with you.