It was 2003, and life had mercilessly deposited me in a country foreign to me – Portugal. At the time, I did not speak the language, did not understand the people and was thoroughly homesick.
There were only a handful of English-speaking people around, all retired ex-pats, but, thankfully, they did like to read. One day, when I was perusing the meagre offerings at an English lady’s house, I picked up a random book, opened it at the title page and was completely stunned. There, on the very first page of the book, without doubt written and printed in English, was a dedication – ‘Manai mīļajai vecmāmiņai’. I was in the middle of Portugal (literally), standing on a tiled Mediterranean floor with palm trees and a vigorous Bougainvillea brushing against the windows, absentmindedly listening to Sheila’s chattering, and there it was..