East – West

This is an essay by Momo Kapor, well recognized Serbian writer.

I copied it from Mila, but as I have it also translated in English, I am going to do some edits.


In the East, people work from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m.
In the West, they work from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.
East wakes up at 5:30 in the morning.
West wakes up at 7.

Hungover East, crawls through misty winter morning, cursing work, country, life and fate. East is half shaven. That is because East has shaved the night before, so he could sleep longer in the morning.
Clear cut, well shaven West gets on the quiet Subway.
East is telling political jokes while riding the overcrowded bus.
West reads the news papers. Complete silence. Nobody is talking to anybody.
East falls in love with a beautiful green-eyed worker, in-between the three bus stops. Of course the East gets to work at 7:30 and tells his boss angrily: ”What?! We are not the West.”

West begins work at 9.
Around that time East is just sobering up. East has drunk three coffees and has read in the newspaper what is happening in the West.

Until 9:30, East discusses last night’s television.
West is already working considerably. West cannot discuss what was shown on the twenty seven television channels, because no one has watched the same show.

Momo Kapo

Serbian writer Momo Kapor. Source: Facebook

At 10:30, East, who has two hours advantage over West, leaves for a well deserved breakfast, for which East pays with food coupons. As if he has been working all morning on the field, East eats goulash, burek, beans with sausages, stewed sauerkraut, lamb with cabbage, patties, hamburgers, and similar healthy food.
Finishing his breakfast, East chews his toothpick and drinks three internationally acclaimed beers.
West has a lunch break between 12 and 1 p.m. Not having time to sit down, West has a cold chicken breast sandwich and drinks a can of 7up. After that West gets back to work. In the hallway of the building where he works, West has his first coffee.
East already has an advantage of three beers and two whiskeys. In the meantime, he has also heard something about a sale somewhere, so he went to check it out, and came back two hours later to the office.
West has agreed that the Trade Union meeting will be on Saturday, a holiday. There will be talks about a possible worker strike.
With the help of his Trade Union, East has obtained fresh meat (veal) which he will store in the freezer. The blood stained clothes he took to the dry cleaner.

At 3 p.m. East heads home, but just before that he manages to get another beer.
West is still working.

East is having lunch. The family walks on toes – Dad is too tired from work.
West is still working.

East lays down, and soon snores, while having a newspaper over his face, because there are too many flies. They wake him up at 7:30 p.m. so he can watch the news. East has millions of complaints regarding the economic situation.
West is still working.
After watching the news, East is about to have a dinner: trotters with horseradish and a red wine (home made, by his father-in-law in the village).

6 p.m. West is coming back home. He has no energy to read. The West has exhausted everything out of West.
East is fresher in the evening, than in the morning. He plays cards with his best man and opens the third bottle of home made red wine.
Deadly tired, West throws the shoes off his feet and drinks whiskey to come around. West falls into a sofa and watches the pictures on the television, unable to comprehend the content of what he is seeing. West asks himself if life has meaning. Where does it all lead? West has dinner. He apathetically eats white Atlantic fish without any taste and boiled vegetables. Glass of white wine.
At that time, East is already at an advantage with five bottles of red wine.

West goes early to bed. Tomorrow is a working day. West will live only over the weekend. From Friday at five in the afternoon, till Sunday evening.

For East – every day is a holiday.
”I would never live in the West”, he says to his wife, “even if they give me millions!”
West takes a sleeping pill.
Without even thinking, East borrows money from the West. The West gives credits, so he can live from the interest, paid by the East.
East and West both sleep like babies, and dream in color.

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2 Responses to East – West

  1. ano says:

    Хубаво есе,

    но моля ви поработете над дизайна на сайта. ??ма какво да се подобри, особено от към четимост.

    Малко падинг нема да навреди примерно.

  2. Nick says:

    Veni… I read Momo’s articul, much longer then what you posted, Sadly after many years in the West (American west) It seems to me that The west is more Eastern then the east, Sad story is that brief visits are not enough for you to see its true colors. But then, you have to have a dream and the west gladly would present you with one, after all it benefit the west, it is “All Quiet on the Western Front” for reason, reason you would never going to see, same way as you never going to see the true West. good night puppet.

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