Vladimir to understand Salvatore on the phone without the aid of his incredibly expressive Italian gestures. He picked up the key words, hotel, terracotta vasi, Lunedi sera, Serbian border, mare nero.Salvatore wanted to know if they could meet there and then go on to the Black sea area together. Vladimir did some quick calculations. 'Si! Si ! Da, da , A lunedi Salvo!' Vladimir then saw he had six missed calls from Inga and two from his mother. He rang his mother first and was greeted as always with a torrent of recommendations. 'Make sure you get enough sleep, eat properly, never drive for more than eight hours, we all miss you. Then almost as an after thought she told him that Vassili had found a little bicycle for his daughter Aline, he'd painted it bright pink and she rode round the yard blowing him kisses and ringing the little bell he had attached to it. Vladimir thre the phone onto the passenger seat. He had another swig of vodka and rubbed his eyes, then he rang Inga. She sounded angry,'Where have you been? Why didn't you answer ? Is there anyone else there ?' Vladimir was taken aback . She was always complaining that he asked too many questions. He held the phone away from his ear until her shrieking stopped then told her he would be home on Tuesday and had something for her. She giggled then and sounded more like his Inga.
Vladimir tried to sleep then thinking of his mother's advice but woke from a dream of Aline looking at him as though he was a stranger and Inga turning away from him .