CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 90

CoffeeShop Blues “Boss,” he said to Sim, “Raja he say me bloody genny be fix soon soon.” Gemma smiled into the sweet black coffee. The shock at the free use of swearing amongst all the crew had initially rankled but she had soon found herself aping their speech. It was the first time she had worked with Brits and she found the easy humour in grim moments a surprising stress reliever. “I don’t know how I’ll manage with bagels, and butter, and jam when I get home,” she said as she bit into the dry saltines that were their staple breakfast fare. “Yeah, well don’t get too fond of those luv,” Sim said nodding to the packet on the table, “if the supply truck doesn’t get through soon they’ll be rationed too,” and draining his coffee stood up. “Come on, let’s get cracking! Get as many through the doors before the sun gets too high, otherwise we’ll have ‘em fainting left, right an’ bloody centre.” Gemma spluttered as the dregs hit the back of her throat. “Ugh,” she said following Sim into the blooming dawn, spitting coffee grounds into her hands before wiping them on her shorts and reaching for the hand sanitizer clipped at her waist. Threading their way to the main tent identified by the Red Cross flag, they dodged meagre awnings sheltering listless women and grizzling infants. Some of the older, stronger children were nursing precious containers filled with a few inches of water as they returned from the tank, fiercely presided over by Martin, a Sudanese of immense proportions and a prodigious memory. Educated in Baltimore, he was the camp Scrabble champion. “Bloody hell, look at them Gemma,” Sim said, nodding at the line of scrawny men and women as they neared the dispensary tent. “They 90