When the first set - the godmother's son and daughter-in-law - arrived, we gave them drinks and chatted. The wife asked who else was coming to dinner, and I told her the name of our landlord, saying that he and his wife would be there quite soon. 'Who was she?' was the woman's immediate inquiry, 'Who was she before she was married?'
I often think of this question as I look up at all the myriad faces on Budapest's buildings. 'Who were they? Who were they before they were transfigured into stone?'