Shared Kitchen Etiquette in Halls

I mentioned in an earlier post that the public areas of my flat were much cleaner than my own home often used to be. This was a welcome surprise as, prior to moving in, I had envisaged vast piles of washing up becoming self-sufficient and applying for independent nation status. There is still the potential for drama, however, when six adult strangers try to share a communal kitchen.

I’m sure some flats go about the nitty-gritty of occupation like Sykes and Picot carving up the Middle East, with various parties negotiating for cupboard and fridge-freezer territory as if their lives depended on it. Likewise, there are probably flats with a more Darwinian approach, in which the varsity rugby player has his own fridge freezer, and his five flat mates squeeze all of their food into the other one. My flat took a much more organic approach to the problem. As people moved in they put their things into empty cupboards, and their shopping into empty fridge freezer shelves, and it all just sort of worked out… Apart from one notable exception: The Land Grab.

About a week into my stay here, I was approached by my flat mate Tom, who seemed very confused. “Have you moved some of my things?” he asked. “Some of my things seem to have moved.” He was looking down at a baking tray in his hands as though he wasn’t quite sure what it was.

I explained that I had not moved any of his things and we set about investigating what could have happened. We didn’t recognise any of the possessions in the cupboard hitherto occupied by Tom, so we couldn’t work out who had moved his things from one low-level cupboard, to two smaller ones across two levels. A process of elimination (asking everyone) led us to discover that the newest of our brood, was the responsible party. Following an awkward, but not unpleasant exchange, the matter was put to bed and a crisis was averted, although Tom didn’t get his cupboard back!

There is only one other point of kitchen friction in the flat at the moment. We have a modern-day cold war brewing, and our Cuban Missile Crisis revolves around the kettle, and the toaster.

In the family home of one flat mate, they evidently switch off the kettle and toaster at the wall when they are not in use. This is not the case for the rest of us, meaning that sometimes we will set the kettle to boil and go back to our rooms to fetch a cup or something, only to find upon our return that the kettle is still filled with cold water (imagine the inconvenience if you can bear it!). As your reporter on the front line of this escalating conflict I shall provide updates when I can…

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The Bay of Pigs

Things I learned this week:

  • My body has a limit and will punish me with snot and a headache if I exceed it.
  • My real postcode.
  • Falling over in a club due to alcohol consumption at 30 is really embarrassing.
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