I would like to know what "which gradually became the only thing we knew" means in the following sentences:
On the first morning of camp they woke us early, storming into the hut and blowing a whistle, leaving us just enough time to brush our teeth in the washrooms and have some milk soup and tea in the canteen. In the coming weeks, I realised the canteen always smelled of cabbage and grease no matter what we were having, as if the entire building had been soaked in a concoction of the two shortly before our arrival. Every day we’d queue for something we didn’t really want, which gradually became the only thing we knew.
After breakfast we were given our uniforms, a pair of green shorts and a green shirt, the same for boys and girls. They were made of stiff, rough cotton that felt like canvas on my skin. The morning sun was cool on our thighs and arms as we left the hut to assemble once again in front of the main building. The comrade leader’s eyes hovered over us with petty satisfaction.
In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik (a university graduate) left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he went to the agricultural camp (which was mandatory for college graduation). At the camp, all students including him would queue for something, which "which gradually became the only thing we knew."
In this part, I wonder what became the only thing they knew. (Would that be "queuing"? Or "something we didn't really want?") And I am confused as to what this phrase means, so I would like to ask for your help.
I am an English learner from South Korea, so thank you for your patience in advance as I may not know obvious things. I would very much appreciate your help. :)