The American writer John Steinbeck and the photographer Robert Capa spent months preparing for their trip to the Soviet Union in 1947, much aided by a philosophic bar-man and his cocktails. However, their plans fell flat at the first hurdle, which was to have someone meet them at the airport.

‘There wasn’t one person there to meet us. There wasn’t a familiar face. We couldn’t ask a question. We didn’t have any Russian money. We didn’t know where to go … Just then the courier for the French Embassy came out with his pouch, and he loaned us money to pay the porters, and he put our baggage in the car which had come to meet him. He was a very nice man. We had been close to suicide and he saved us.’

 

Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 14

Photo credit: EvgeniT at pixabay

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