Le Commerce

October 12, 2002 - 5:00 p.m.

A man in a black turtleneck and jeans is sweeping up tremendous amounts of floor trash with his pushbroom. The quartet of older men playing cards on an upholstered table get up and pull the table out to allow him to sweep the space. He didn't get as far as my little table or the booth next to me, where two men and a woman sit on orange vinyl cushions and roll dice in a round tray.

When I got here, the place was full of people filling out racing forms. Deeper into the place, men stood around raised TV monitors watching the day's horse races. It seems the races are all over now. I had to go to the bar to order my espresso, but they did bring it out to me, albeit with a black tube of powdered sugar.

Some kind of tree is growing out of a large pot next to my table. The pot doubles for a trash can, I guess, since in addition to the plant and a healthy amount of black dirt, it also contains old newspapers and ticket stubs.

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Le Commerce
Metro: Villejuif - Paul Vaillant-Courturier

Price of an espresso: 1.15 euros
Sugar: tube of powdered sugar

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