“Travels to a Different Time ” :June 18 ,1971: Vodka Flowing Like Water and Caviar Like Bargain Basement Fish Eggs: God Bless the Russians!

I woke up today like a new person with no temperature and my skin is no longer on fire. I went to the upper deck to get some fresh air and luckily no sun at least for today so far! I saw Fritz having a swim in the pool so I joined him after getting my swimsuit. Mom calls me a water rat as I was sitting in water at our Lake Champlain cottage as soon as I was old enough to walk. In fact, I obtained my Royal Life Saving Society certification this year at 15 years of age and that was not easy especially having to write a two-hour exam and a rigorous half day pool evaluation. Can you imagine having to swim two lengths of a pool underwater on one breath. I have already saved an old lady who was panicking in our apartment pool in Montreal. I love water and I love the ocean and if I am a water rat I am proud of that.

After our swim Fritz and I went for breakfast. I felt a bit queasy smelling the food and I have lost my appetite so a light breakfast of three boiled eggs and some toast. I like the Russian food but recovering from sun stroke the heavy Russian cuisine is a bit much for me at least for now. We ate with Fritz and a French lady. I just felt like going back to the cabin and sleeping.

Margaret Mary Stephen diary entry:  A happy day for me as Robert is much better. I had a dreadful experience in the shower putting the hot water on full and I had to run for help. Each shower in Europe is different and it is so confusing. There was so much steam in the hallway it looked like the ship was on fire but a steward rushed in and with a big but polite laugh showed me how to regulate the flow of hot water and work the shower. He was so kind and understanding and the whole crew knows about Robert being sick and many ask me with concern in their eyes if he is doing better. I am thinking now the Russian people are good souls no matter how bad their government is. Robert has seen so much of different people and I think this is good for him. How many boys his age have seen what he has! And we purposely travel as much as possible as the local people do. This is why we take the bus with the local people as much as we can. We can afford a taxi but as this a luxury for the common people it will a luxury for us.

Robert had a light dinner. He is bothered by the heavy food at dinner some chicken and potatoes in cream sauce. He just had a bite and could eat no more. The serving staff are concerned about him and asked if they could deliver some light chicken broth and sparkling mineral water to our cabin. Robert said no and wanted a good sleep as he has a bit of the shivers. God bless these Russians!

I checked on Robert who was sleeping and his forehead was just a bit warm instead of raging hot.  I danced with Fritz and had vodka and caviar with the band. They down a big glass of vodka and then have spoons of caviar like it is candy. In bed at 2. When has that happened since 1964 when my dear husband Jack died of bladder cancer. Tomorrow, VENICE! Tonight, I say a prayer of thanks to God for taking care of Robert and for these kindhearted and fun loving Russians. If I could only tell the world how wonderful these Russians are. No it is not the vodka talking. Why can’t we live with the Russians like sisters and brothers? Politics? Politicians?

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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