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  • When I was a first-grader, my mom got a job at a café/confectionery/patisserie/don’t know. (Help me here, I’m not native in english, so my feeling for the correct word is uncertain. A place where you can have coffee and/0r meal/pastry, and that sells and manufactures bread, cakes, cookies, buns etc)

    She would start work early. Maybe 6 am, I’m not sure. I would be there with her, every morning before school. Mom would open the café, make sandwiches, put the chairs down from the tabletops. I loved to watch her slice ham and cheese and liverwurst in the big cutting machine. I would eat a fresh roll with butter and cheese as the slices piled up magically by her hands.

    But most of all, I loved to hang out with the bakers. They were like a second family.

    The blonde guy to the left is Uno. He was rooting for Brage, an insignificant football team from his home town. He spoke with the soft sing-song melody that people from the county of Dalarna do, and chanted “Brage är laget som aldrig tappar taget”. He made the sugar pretzels, the cinnamon buns, and these that I can’t find a proper translation for. I found it so fascinating, how he got the custard inside the sugar bun.

    The one with the baker's hat is Mario. He was the bread baker. The most stereotypical Italian baker that you could possibly imagine, even though I didn’t know that at the time. I loved to listen when he sang opera arias to the dough as he kneaded it.

    The guy with the moustache, I don’t even remember him. I don’t think he was on the staff, or else I would have.

    The tall, dark, handsome guy to the right is Peter. He was from Austria, worked as pastry chef and made fantastic cakes. He was grumpy and not very sociable, at least not with a nosy kid. When the other bakers all shared the big room, each had their own big baker’s table, Peter had built a confinement out of plate racks, where he worked in full concentration with his cake sprits. I watched him create his perfect schwarzwälder kirsch torte over and over again.

    And the smell of that place! I don’t even have to tell you, do I?

    (bonus: a picture of my mom, at the counter with a young customer. You can also see the sugar pretzels and the buns with custard in the foreground)
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