By Susan Viets
Picnic on the Iron Curtain gained a 2013 subsequent new release Indie publication Awards finalist's award. it's also a 2012 Foreword's ebook of the yr Award finalist and acquired an honorable point out on the 2013 San Francisco ebook competition. Welcome to the realm of collapsing Communism. it's the eve of the autumn of the Berlin Wall whilst everyone is nonetheless prepared to possibility all to go the Iron Curtain to the West. during this adventure-packed memoir Susan Viets, a scholar grew to become journalist, arrives in Communist Hungary in 1988 and starts reporting for the father or mother, in no way ready for what lies forward. She is helping East Germans break out to the West at a picnic, strikes to the Soviet Union the place she battles gurus for accreditation because the first overseas journalist in Ukraine after which watches, surprised, because the whole political method collapses. Lured by way of new commute possibilities, Viets outlets her means throughout principal Asia, stumbling right into a tank assault in Tajikistan and the beginning of the Tajik civil warfare. "Picnic on the Iron Curtain" indicates each day humans on the centre of dramatic occasions from Budapest to Bishkek and Chernobyl to Chechnya. it's a memoir that spans a interval of momentous historic switch from 1988-1998, following via with an eyewitness account of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004.
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Extra resources for Picnic at the Iron Curtain: A Memoir: From the fall of the Berlin Wall to Ukraine's Orange Revolution
At midday the next day to come, my Lada so absolutely loaded that i'll slightly see, I waved see you later to Charlotte, who remained in the back of, and Stephen, who might circulation into my flat. I drove down Khreshchatyk, remembering my first force alongside it with Mary while law enforcement officials had stopped us on each block. that they had requested why our husbands allow us to out within the motor vehicle on my own, desired to understand how I had discovered to force and in addition requested for bribes. nobody stopped me now. I took the road west. Lviv and Hungary lay forward. Now that i used to be now not serious about paintings, i'll have fun with the panorama for its good looks. The Carpathian Mountains have been ablaze in autumn colors. on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border, guards searched the auto. One observed a coin that he acknowledged i couldn't take in a foreign country. blind to this, I passed him the coin, yet he refused to take it and acknowledged, “If someone asks, simply say you threw it in a box. ” i didn't be aware of that I felt under pressure until eventually I picked my method around the ultimate kilometre of potholed Ukrainian roads and crossed appropriately into Hungary. I enjoyed Ukraine and my associates there, however it was once nonetheless adequate of an arbitrary and unpredictable position that not anything, no longer even the fitting to go away, might be taken without any consideration. while I heard my first Jó napot kívánok [good day], a Hungarian greeting on Hungarian soil, I felt set free, unfastened. a number of kilometres within Hungary I observed a brightly lit carrier station. It appeared like this kind of novelty to force as much as a pump in the course of nowhere and refill. I opened my trunk, took out 4 steel fuel tins and a funnel. i assumed that I may still fill the tins, although i noticed that I now not had to. I left the tins, which were such very important survival instruments those earlier years, via the pump, and appeared again, feeling fearful with no them. I walked backward and forward during the front to the carrier station shop a dozen occasions, mesmerized through the automated doorways that opened and closed with a swoosh whenever. I stood in entrance of the shop wall decked with windshield wipers, strain gauges and all kinds of vehicle paraphernalia in applications that hung from hooks. I stared and questioned what to shop for, then learned that i wanted not anything. Roadside provider existed right here. yet hoarding is a troublesome behavior to wreck. i stopped up taking windshield wipers and a timing belt to the money. sooner than the attendant rung them in, i finished her and positioned the goods again on their hooks. The payphone outdoors labored. there have been no crackles at the Budapest line while I known as Anna. I sped in the course of the Hungarian geographical region in part simply because i may. No potholes jolted the automobile. No flying gravel cracked the windscreen. The roads ran immediately. None led to a ditch or unmarked building website. typically, even though, I sped simply because i needed to determine Anna, Gyula and their young children once attainable. We spent a leisurely 3 days jointly, jogging via principal Budapest, vacationing previous haunts and catching up on advancements in a single another’s lives. I regarded up extra neighbors. every person appeared good. while it used to be time to depart one good friend travelled with me so far as Germany.