As I walk into the canteen I am overwhelmed by the smell of mushy peas and the chaos of hungry children forming a queue eagerly. The brown fold-away tables are laid out in neat rows and are lined with plastic chairs. The sound of chatter and laughter echoes through the hall. The canteen is a place where all the children get together at lunch time, have lunch and talk about who has the best pencil case and how much they hate maths.
Everyone is queuing up single file holding brown trays. I watch as the cook pours the sloppy food onto the plates. After collecting lunch all the children sit down on the tables in their friend circles. I can hear the chewing of chicken, crunching of apples, gulping of water. There are brightly coloured back packs tucked away under the tables.
The food tastes the same every time, even when there is a different menu. A taste of mushy peas lingers in all the items, even in the dessert. I eat my food quickly because I want to go out into the fresh air.
At the back of the hall is the area of children who bring their packed lunches. The packed lunch boxes are colourful, with cartoons, cars and celebrities painted on. They are piled onto trolleys with wheels and are numbered clearly in large bold black lettering, indicating class number and year.
There are dinner ladies scattered all over the hall. They all look identical and are dressed in blue overalls. Their job is to direct all the children to their seats and keep all the noise down. It never seems to work, they are ignored by the sniggering children who are misbehaving.
All the popular children sit on one table, the same table every lunch time. It’s at the back of the hall in the left corner. There is no reservation sign but everyone knows that table is only for the popular children. Unless you are in that group you are not welcome. The girls look pretty and all the boys like them and the boys are all good looking and all the girls like them. The tables at the front of...
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