For Klara Sotonova’s parents in the Czech Republic, 20,000 koruna was a lot of money. The equivalent of about $800, they had saved that sum for when their daughter would get married. And at 19, a wedding was more or less what was expected of her. Preferably soon.
Instead, Klara asked for that money to buy a plane ticket to America. It was 10 years after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the events that ended communism in what was then still Czechoslovakia. Many young people were leaving.