Award-winning author Marcel Theroux looks forward to revisiting his friend’s dacha in the countryside near Moscow
My friend N’s dacha in the countryside outside Moscow has been a refuge for 20 years. It’s actually two houses: the wonky Soviet-era one, built by her father, a screenwriter and relatively privileged Soviet intellectual, and the much larger, more comfortable but – to my nostalgic mind – less characterful one that she and her husband B built after the USSR fell apart.
The wonky house was my first proper entrée into Russian domestic life. I remember feeling extraordinarily privileged to sit at their long dining table for word games, meals that lasted the entire afternoon, fierce but bloodless arguments, and tea from a samovar.