Fractured Column

As in many countries taxi drivers in Poland tend to be chatty… if you give them a chance, which I usually don’t. Most of the time I stare meaningfully out of the window and give short non-committal answers when they start up on their latest hobby horse. Occasionally it’s interesting but most of the time I’m got other things on my mind.

A friend of mine is not so close mouthed and is liable to engage them (sometimes a little forcefully as he got in an argument with one over a political issue in the middle of heavy traffic) For me, rule number one is don’t ruffle the feathers of whoever is driving until you’re getting out.

Anyway occasionally I regret my reticence as when he relayed an interaction with a driver a few days ago who was unhappy at the number of Ukrainians working in the country.

“How could that traitor government let them all in? They’re a fifth column! They’re just waiting on a signal from the Kremlin to rise up and take over!” (and on and on like that for the whole trip).

“He does realize that Ukraine and Russia are effectively at war, doesn’t he?” I asked.

“I didn’t think to mention that… I don’t think it would have made any difference.”

As I’ve said, Ukrainian labor migration to Poland is overwhelmingly a non-crisis, but there are some bumps, including people who are still living in 1982… (or 1968 or 1956).

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