Dmitry Kalugin: Commerce

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“LUNCH. Three dishes with beverage, 250 rubles. LunchBox Bistro.” Central District, Petersburg, June 29, 2016. Photo by the Russian Reader

Dmitry Kalugin
Facebook
July 7, 2016

Yesterday morning, I stopped by a completely new restaurant for breakfast. They had opened just recently, and the place was all polished and shiny.

There were three people in the place: the cook, the girl behind the counter, and, apparently, the manager. They were all very friendly and were glad to see me. They jumped up to greet me, telling me I should have breakfast at their place.

While I was picking out a sandwich, it transpired they did not take cards.

They were upset. Don’t just leave, they said to me. Buy at least something to support us.

I spent my last hundred rubles on a cup of coffee. They were glad and came out of the restaurant to see me off.

As I went home, I remembered coming home from Tartu in the early nineties. When I exited the Primorskaya subway station early in the morning, people were already lined up there selling things.

An old woman approached me.

“Buy some matches, sonny, and support commerce. It’s a good cause!”

There was an amazing feeling of novelty about it back then. Now I am not so sure. New places are no cause for joy, although I honestly support commerce and other good causes. It is probably a sign of old age.

P.S. I hear the rain starting up again. This is my punishment for not having bought a poached egg with pesto for breakfast for 140 rubles.

P.P.S. That box of matches is still in the cupboard in my mother’s kitchen. It is amazing how long they have lasted.

Translated by the Russian Reader

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