I remember at one point in time, he wanted to import some Jewish cookies and things that were used for Sabbath and so on from Slovakia, and he did, and he got into trouble selling it, because it was not something on the government list. It was a constant struggle – him trying to improve the business and the government saying ‘These are the regulations and you can’t do that.’
English language Tag
And then finally we got across the border and we heard the car going, and then the car stopped. They went from the main road to a corn field. It was this dusty road in a cornfield. They opened the trunk and we just fell out. We couldn’t stand; we had no blood circulation. I remember, my first sight of the west was lying in dust on this dusty road.
“I think I was mostly inconvenienced, being a teenager, by the restrictions on our lives – social lives – and curfews at night. I tried to go to ballet school and I couldn’t go because you had to be home before dark. Everything was all closed up without lights, because they worried about the Allied planes going over and bombing.”
I was singing all songs and, because my parents were actually masters of ballroom dancing, they were teachers. Very known in the whole area where we lived. In all the villages and the towns around my parents were teaching hundreds of young people ballroom dancing. And that was my inspiration, because I listened to the music my parents listened to on the gramophone.
Once you grow up somewhere else and you basically go live somewhere else, I think you’ll be kind of living on both sides of the fence for the rest of your life, so it’s kind of difficult to decide where to jump. Sometimes I feel I am home only when I am on the airplane or the ocean; that way I am nowhere.
Now, there was a long line of people, and there was an old lady there, who was carrying a little suitcase with all her belongings there. And one of our neighbors in the same building where we lived, a big guy, he ran to this lady and grabbed her suitcase. He took it away and said ‘You are not going to need that.’ So this patriot later became a leading figure in the Communist Party in the neighborhood.
We’ve got good food too, but I think ours is healthier – Slovak, much healthier. I used to think that because we didn’t eat so much meat that we had poor food. On the contrary, that was the best food what we had. Cabbage, and your bean soups, all kinds of soup. Barley, or even your sauerkraut. I didn’t like sauerkraut until I grew up, then I really liked it – and mushrooms.