I dragged my feet up the cracked cement staircase. Next to the stairs, wild, thorny shrubs grew out of control. No one had bothered with them for years. A metallic pipe with black paint peeling off served as a fence. It was a snappy cold February day.
As we got to the top of the staircase, two massive guys got out of a parked sedan with an engine humming to keep them warm. In black, furry sport jackets, they tumbled up the stairs, with stubby legs sticking out from underneath rather big beer bellies. We were meeting with a builder named Slawek. Slawek was the last entry in our “beauty contest” of building contractors.