Eighty-two years after Moses Dibobis escaped from the Lithuanian hamlet of Birzai with nothing but a packed lunch, his grandson David Smiedt journeys back to the former Soviet enclave looking for a link to his grandfather that extends beyond a receding hairline and shared sense of humour.
What he finds there is that premium vodka is cheaper than water, spa treatments are more than a little invasive and that Stalin theme parks and eccentric museums are just the beginning of the charms of this beguiling nation. By the end of his journey, David finally has an answer to his mother-in-law’s question: ‘Who are your people?’
In From Russia With Lunch, David Smiedt takes all that is irreverent about Molvania and combines it with a love of history and the bizarre to reveal a land unknown by many. Better still, he eats pigs’ ears so you don’t have to.