Last night, while eating homemade Croatian goulash at my friend Jeremy's house, I put the following question to the group:
Josh, in a move that betrayed a lack of interest or understanding in our game, said Canadian. When we protested he changed to Ukrainian, because the men there are good looking.
Jeremy picked Swedish.
"I love the food," he said. "And it's a very progressive culture."
"But what about the suicide rate?" I asked. Jeremy shrugged. I offered, "It will be a short life, but at least it will be a Swedish one!"
Then onto Greg. My partner in love and life. He took a moment to deliberate. Finally, he chose Russian. For their crazy/seriousness, he said. Good art. Drinking and dancing and violin playing into the wee hours. A funny people.
To recap: I picked Cuba. He picked Russia. Chiles and black beans and plantains vs. potatoes and vodka and beets. Sarongs and old cars and mambo on the one side. Fur-lined hats and great coats and Rachmaninoff on the other.
Well, at least we will always have Communism.