It was the beginning of 2020 and I just came back to my hometown Gdańsk, after an unsuccessful attempt to live abroad in the UK. I was looking for a job, so my brother suggested applying for a call centre in Gdynia. Dealing with electric bills and selling solar panels to random people was never my thing, but due to a lack of other options, I scheduled an appointment for an interview. A few days later I started the three-week training and met a lot of nice people. This is when I became certain that I would stick to this job for a longer time.
One day after training I was heading home. It was a beautiful day, with birds singing and flowers blooming, despite it only being February and still being able to feel the cold winds hitting my naked ankles. My mom told me earlier that it was too soon to wear trainers, but I wanted to feel the spring.
I had a bag of sweets in my purse. The vanilla-strawberry ones, which are dipped in dark chocolate. They were never my favourite sweets, but I just felt like taking them that day. It was like how you sometimes wake up and say “Today it’s pistachio ice cream day”, even though usually chocolate is your favourite flavour. You’ll buy pistachio and later find out that it was the best decision ever.
A group of tourists
I got on the train and was lucky enough to find a free spot with four seats, where it’s two pairs of seats facing each other. I sat down near the window and started listening to my favourite songs while admiring the view of the cities and forests I was passing by. A few stops went by quietly, until a group of tourists entered the train. They took seat everywhere in the wagon and started talking loudly in a language I couldn’t recognise, let alone understand.
I didn’t notice that one of the people took a seat right in front of me, as I was too busy observing the group of foreigners making fun of the Polish language by trying to read out words from a magazine. ”Pasztet” (Pâté) and “maślanka” (buttermilk) were the funniest words in the world to them and I had fun listening to their failed attempts to pronounce “kiełbasa morlińska” (sausage). It’s always nice to hear someone try to talk in your language.
Eventually, I noticed the man sitting in front of me. I assumed that he wasn’t part of the group of tourists, because nobody else sat there with him. He looked stressed and miserable, like an introvert at a party or someone who had to go to the doctor by himself for the first time. I was still in a great mood though, so I thought “Why not share it?” I gave the man one of the sugar bombs from my purse and started talking about the nice weather and the loud group of tourists
that had just entered the train. He smiled and ate the candy I gave him, but he didn’t say anything besides a quiet “dziękuję” (thank you). I thought that he was just a bit shy, so I continued minding my own business, happy that I probably made his day a little brighter. This is when a small lady unexpectedly came and stood next to us.