Friday morning

Friday, August 11th, very early in the morning.

A couple of the workers that we have already met greet us with a „Dobroie Utro“ („Good Morning“). After a quick glance in my notebook, we know how to answer – „Sdrasd Vudje“ („Morning“).

We begin to work. I look for a spot on a dirt pile. Slava and Vitali vanish into their ditch and speak quietly in Russian. They both come from the Ukraine and Stolniceni, the village in which we are living and working, is likewise Ukranian. They seem to get along very well with the workers; they both laugh when one of the workers shouts something over to them.

The tools are split up. There are still enough buckets (somehow, mysteriously every day there are fewer buckets, enough so that we have to buy new ones quite often). Kai explains that old shovels and spades are better than new ones. Even after you properly sharpen the new ones, they will not glide as nicely as the old. Mariana interrupts him; he should help her measure the fixpoints so they can calibrate the „Tachy,“ the total station.

The workers start to shovel and cart away the dirt. Whoever is not shoveling at the moment tells jokes, smokes, yawns. Like always, music rattles out of their cellphone speakers. Like always, it is the same playlist. It is not yet too hot, though the comfortable morning freshness is slowly fading away.

Jarik grins over at me. He is one of the boys who works with us. We met yesterday night at Magazin Mixed.First only a couple of girls with loud music had come, then the boys had arrived, roaring up the sleepy village streets (well, streets) on their scooters.

Now he comes over briefly to the dirt hill where I am sitting and looks at the watercolor and drawings of the workers. He speaks no English, I speak no Russian. With the help of an app, we can tediously translate word-by-word. I discover that his scooter can reach 90 km/hr (in the meantime I have actually driven with him on it and can confirm that it is, in fact, very fast) and a couple of other things.

It is 10am, time for breakfast. Time for „Mein Katalonien,“ semi-ok coffee, and watermelon.  

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