“The center, the center.”
“The middle of town. Put it that way.”
“Ah, meetzle! ”he recognized, somewhat chuffed, and then sighted his nose down the street in the direction of the Rynek, or Square, of Warsaw’s famous Old Town, which I had noticed, especially for its flat-faced mansions of fading pastels, while being taxied from the train station to the hotel the night previous in a 1939 DeSoto. Remember those little rubber-propellered fans above the driver’s seat?
We stood in the doorway of the old Orbis-Europejski Hotel, me and Wietzel, my waiter—and, let it be said, my first Polish acquaintance—who, in a comradely way, held my elbow and glanced up at me with the fondness of his little snowman eyes, two wee raisins set in a doughy face round as a ducatoon and the color of that apron of greasy duck girdling his paunch. He farted. It didn’t matter. I love a contactee situation.