Litera C

I remember there were some long, long shelves, and as long as the shelves were the rows of cans with beans and bacon, which the workers used to eat with a newspaper as a tablecloth during their lunch break. Something absolutely awful, which a normal human being could not possibly eat. We could find some Vietnamese shrimps, which were great. These usually occupied a different shelf. Underneath, you found peach and apricot compote. They all looked awful, people said they were made in large ?bath tubs? and it was exactly how those vats looked like at the factory. On the other side of the shelves, actually a sort of shop windows, there was the liquor department where we could find: cooling drinks, like sour cherry syrup, or raspberry syrup (There were some stalls in the parks that had a device which combined soda with this syrup and we could drink a sort of beverage in the park.) There was wine, which was said to be made of slivers, and cost 19 lei (it was named Sliverini) and there also was plum brandy: Two Plums or Dobrin?s Eyes. There also was BFW, meaning, ?brandy from wine?, which was the most awful of them all. Rarely could we find doubly refined alcohol, which the alcoholics bought and filtered. (114)


We were over 1000 students dining in a canteen of 250 places. We had classes at school from eight in the morning till eight in the evening, with an hour lunch break. We had to wait in an enormous queue so that we could have lunch and, you can imagine, in an hour I did not get to the eating part. Because of that, three days in a week, I did not have lunch, because I did not have the chance, and the other three days I did not have dinner because I finished the classes at eight o?clock, and the canteen was closed at that hour. We would sell our dinner card, because the food was not that great but they would check up on us. The person in charge with the hostel would usually check. We had to let everyone know because everybody was expected to present the card with his name on. When we knew that there was a control, we disappeared in our hostel. (I. C. M., 167)

At Cotroceni at 303, where the IEFS* is now, the food was all right. And at nine o?clock when the canteen closed, the last students that came knew that they would get the excess of food. And they came, they queued, it was a pretty ordered queue. After they closed, once the ones with cards had eaten, all the food that was left was given to the rest of them, to all that queue. One could see at five to nine how the canteen started teeming with people. Boom! 40 people. (I. H., S. R.-B., 132)

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