Thoughts in a Cafe



            I think I have made a big mistake. I have another interview tomorrow, but it will not go well. I always know these things; I am not often wrong. I worked hard. Do I not have a good CV? Not good – excellent. And I look as good as the other girls. Better than some of them – they are so fat! There are not so many fat people at home. But I open my mouth and they hear my accent and their faces change. I want to say to them; “I have been at good schools! I was top in my class. Top! I have excellent qualifications.” They are polite, and say that they will call. But then I get the letter and I know.

 Everything is very much more expensive than I thought. This cup of coffee; what I paid for it would buy a big meal in my town.

 No one likes me here. They think I am here to marry one of their rich, fat men. I want to tell them I’m not like that. Why would I want to do that? I am an independent woman. I want my career. I want to work. And I would work hard for them. I would not take my break, I would work through my lunch. I would be the best worker they have ever seen!

 So, the only jobs they will give me is cleaning rooms in the hotel? Posing with no clothes on for the students? This is not what I got my visa for. And it will run out very soon and I will go back and what will I write on my CV then? Room-cleaner? Model? What use is that! This was a mistake.

 I go to my English classes. Maybe they will help. If I can lose my accent perhaps then they will hire me for a good job. I am an accountant. I am not a cleaner, no. My brain is dying, that’s what it feels like. Dying from not being used.

That’s enough Katja. Enough moaning. You knew it would be hard.

I will write my Mom tonight and say how well I am doing. I will do well. I have another two months and if I find a good job my visa will be extended. And I will do it! I will go in the interview room and I will smile and I will do my best to sound like them.

There are au-pairs in the park sometimes from home. That is something I will never do; look after little children with sticky faces and noses that drip. Those girls are stupid country girls. Don’t people here know the difference?

There is a sad old man at the table in front of me. He is mad, and a drunk. There are people here with so much money – why does no one help him? Maybe he does not wish to be helped. It’s sad, but sometimes there is nothing you can do.

The girl in red leaves a tip at her table. A tip! I have paid more than enough for my coffee I think! And it is not so good coffee. Back home the coffee is stronger – much much better. They don’t seem to know here what good coffee is.

I walk out of the café and a man nearly walks into me. He apologizes very nicely to me and I feel better. He is carrying flowers and a paper. I will remember him. It’s nice that there are some people that have manners in this country.

The student is in the park drawing. He has seen me with no clothes on. I want to laugh. I walk by him with my head high and I am not ashamed. I am Katja Elena Novikova and I am going places!

The End

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