gratuitous image
4 July 1996

Balkan Banquet

Steve and Kelly are friends with a couple that emigrated from Belgrade with their daughter before they could be dragged into the bloody civil war that saw so many of their friends and neighbors maimed and killed.

I met them when they brought over a small feast to thank Steve for building some book shelves in their apartment. They'd presented a leg of lamb, kebabs made with a variety of roasted meats, and lots of wine as "a Balkans barbecue." It was a memorable meal.

The guests were utterly charming; I could have spent hours listening to them reading the telephone directory in their sonorous accents. I liked them; they were much more erudite and sapient than I'll ever be. Still, it will be a long time before I can think of the former Yugoslavia without seeing piles of meat. Visual associations are as strong as they are unpredictable.

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart