COMMUNISTS: Hygiene of the Soul

The trouble with Communism, as many a disgruntled Polish diner-out can testify, may be studied at close range in any state-run restaurant. When signaled, a Polish waiter turns his back. When plucked by the sleeve as he saunters by, the waiter snaps, "Kolega," meaning it is not his table. Menus sometimes are elaborate and evocative, but when asked to serve some dish other than fried pork and overboiled cabbage, the waiter answers: "Niema" (There isn't any).

State-owned restaurants are divided into Class I, II and III, which is translated by Poles as "poor, terrible and atrocious." There remain a few...

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