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Issue 2b/2007, February 1 2007 (No. 230)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 002B-07:
ENCOUNTERS 6B


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The people in the tearoom were different from the people who were waiting at the door of the office. In the tearoom I saw almost no Russians. Most of the guests were Germans. Several people wore tracksuit bottoms or tracksuit tops. Some people hadn't had a haircut just yesterday. Some people had straggly hair, not only because of the rain. There were men who wear long hair or a ponytail. Many people look pale. I saw several haggard faces. A woman of pensioner age had a long recent wound below an eye and gappy teeth. A corpulent middle-aged woman wore shrill red dyed hair. Next to her chair was a wheeled frame which made it possible for her to walk quite properly. She told in a loud voice that she was almost blind.
 
At her table she did all the talking. She made approaches to a young man who had gappy teeth and straggly hair. He partly showed an interest in her approaches and partly rebuffed them. His voice was both self-encouraging and melancholic. The flirting ended up in coarse allusions.
 
Next to me sat a young highly pregnant women. She had a lively conversation with two women at the table. Suddenly she got up from the table. Her father, a very overweight pale middleaged man, called for her.
 
When the young woman had gone, I had a better view of the neighbouring tables. A quite young man of Middle Eastern origin sat at one of those tables. He gave the impression of being rather shy and introverted. After a while I saw that he plucked up some courage and started to speak to an old man at his table. While he spoke, his face got friendly and relaxed.
 
Next to him was another young man who was also of Middle Eastern origin. This man now and then jumped up and sat down at an other table. It was conspicuous that he didn't face the person he was talking to. He mostly told some jokes with a soft voice. You could sense that he was eager for applause.
 
An elderly woman at a neighbouring table bitterly stared into space. She immediately started to smile when a fat young woman had a few words with her.
 
office building
 
At the next table everyone was in good spirits. Two young women, who wore smart clothes and scarfs, were kept on the go by their little children. One of the children was an about four-year old boy. He took shelter from all the restlessness in the corner of the room where my table was. He took a single chair. He got a continuous coughing fit.
 
A pale young woman came in. She had two children with her. The girl and the boy also had a very pale complexion. They had clothes on, which looked a little bit worn. The children immediately crept into the fabrice house and played in there.
 
When the stream of guests died down, I left the tearoom.I must confess that I wasn't unhappy in the company of those people. Nobody acted the big shot. I was maybe a company of people who didn't quite cope with the dog-eat-dog society.
 
The next day I saw the people in the tram in a different light. Many of the elderly women in the tram looked like those ethnic German emmigrants from Russia I saw at the door of distributing office, to be precise they were absolutely unconspicuous.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)


Please also read:

A modern supermarket

Signs of Upheaval 4

Encounters 8

Places (19) about a small shopping center

Charlie Dittmeier's article about people, who collect trash for resale in Phnom Penh, diary entry of February 29 2004. The link leads to the latest entry of the diary. Please scroll down.

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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Thursday, February 15 2007

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