[ 1 min read ]
Lukasz doesn’t remember a time when he and his parents were really poor. That there were bills which they couldn’t pay, or that they didn’t have any money to buy food with, or that the debt collectors were after them, or that they had to be evicted, etc. Nothing like that ever happened to them.
After his father had lost the job he held in the communist era in one of the biggest architectural firms in town (and which by no means made them rich) there was a period when he didn’t have a job, but how long this period was Lukasz can’t tell right now.
As a teacher his mother had the possibility to retire sooner than most people working in other professions and she did retire sooner. But when her husband lost his job and wasn’t earning any money they both decided that she would open a small shop with cosmetics and household items (like a small drugstore but without any medications). The shop was really small, dark, located on the wrong side of the street (or such was the explanation back then why it never really took off), in the basement of one of the downtown buildings. Nevertheless it generated some money — enough to cover all operational costs and buy them food.
Lukasz’s mother would run and supply the shop herself although she often had the support of Lukasz who would visit with her the same local wholesalers after school and help her load and unload all the merchandise. Occasionally he would also stand behind the counter and serve clients, but only for short spans. Another job of his was painting the lower part of the building’s facade where the shop was located after it’d gotten messy due to high car traffic. Later she hired a help and could limit the time she spent behind the counter.