Kitchens are strange and wonderful places of mystery and magic. I have always found the attraction of warmth, food, comfort and work appealing. We could not afford a domestic worker in Bethlehem where I grew up, so my mother did everything: baking, cooking, cleaning, washing up and setting traps for the mice, which I disarmed behind her back. As a mother and wife, I tried to keep the kitchen neutral territory. There was big table where we could all sit together and eat, read newspapers, talk or just look at the flames in the fireplace. That dream became a nightmare.
‘Madam must sit in the dining room!’ was the instruction from our chief domestic supervisor. It sounds now like a television series where words like ‘maid’ and ‘servant’ are deemed politically incorrect. I would often slip into the kitchen of my embassy in Bapetikosweti and ask the workers what was really happening on the ground. The truth was shattering, and yet, thanks to those sunset sessions, I could prevent things from going from bad to worse in my homeland. We never had a coup, unlike some former homeland leaders recently departed.
I remember my visit to Tel Aviv when Golda Meier was Prime Minister. I had to deliver a secret document for her eyes only from our Minister of Foreign Affairs to her Minister, Moshe Dayan, for his