Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, July 19, 2013

The first eviction from the house.

A week may be a long time in politics, but it is almost no time at all in Latvia.

Christian and Erika were already on their way to their rendezvous in Russia, and storms were dampening any opportunity to venture too far for all but the silly, so the rest of us kept busy recuperating from the intensity of the past few days, (some falling in to deeper despondency with each update of the score at the Ashes test being played at Lords).   There was a sense of winding down in the house, so a lay day was called, hire cars returned, cards were played, fingernails painted and a monster barbecue arranged with endless food and stories that were told until well into tomorrow.

In the Soviet times, we were told by our guide yesterday, there were contingencies for everyone.  Evacuation plans and emergency supplies were in abundance, with gas masks and rations for ever man woman and child in the country.

Now the situation is quite different, perhaps related to threat levels, but it seems that now only military and political personnel have access to the emergency kits once so abundant.     This does go quite some way towards explaining one of the least sought after, but none the less unique and freely available souvenirs in Latvia: the Soviet gas mask.

None of that has anything to do with the day, but since I had a rare camera free day a photo of two of our number equipped for a long journey in an elevator with someone who had consumed a week's ration of sauerkraut will suffice to illustrate the good times had by all.

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