Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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21

What kind of meat is this, it’s bad enough it’s offcuts! Miss

Basia, tell them in the kitchen there! Take my plate back,

have them heat it up!”

Whereas he’d said he liked cold food. He was on a building

site, in the cafeteria, and he liked cold food. I don’t know if

anyone enjoyed their meal that day. I couldn’t even tell you

what the main course was. Probably meatballs, because we

mostly got meatballs. They were more breadcrumbs than

meat, but they were called meatballs.

You probably think she drove a dagger into my heart, as

they say. Well, it did hurt. I didn’t finish my main course. I

went back to work. Though I didn’t much feel like working

either. In the end I made myself feel better by saying I’d

wait him out. They’d install all the machinery in the cold

storage plant and he’d leave, and I’d still be there. I just had

to be patient. Besides, I found it hard to believe it could

have happened just like that on the first day. She’d given

him his soup and his main course, and that was that.

But from that day she changed beyond recognition. She

looked and she didn’t see. Even when you said to her, Good

morning, Miss Basia, or Basieńka, sometimes she didn’t

answer. When she gave us our plates it seemed like it was

all the same to her which of us was which. She knew the

cafeteria like the back of her hand, she could have found

her way among the tables blindfold, but she began to make

mistakes. The next table had been waiting longer than us,