Monday, February 07, 2011

Dra. Ma.

There seems to be a whole lotta drama involving the dorm kitchen. As with any shared space, everyone wants to use it all at once, and for a different purpose. Last night, the guy who makes 12-course haute-cuisine-ish meals for his friends was really annoyed that those who'd been in there previously had not cleaned up after themselves. I felt as though, as he was telling this to his friend, I was guilty until proven innocent, in that I was also using his kitchen, but I know in my own heart of hearts that the one and only time I splattered anything in there I cleaned it up. The fact that it's in a state of permagrossness over the weekend doesn't much bother me, because I'm not so ambitious in what I'm using a dorm kitchen for. If I were doing a blanquette de veau as one of several courses, as opposed to getting pasta to just the point of edible done-ness, straining it carefully in the sink, then retreating back mouse-like to my room, perhaps I'd share his concern. The fact that the kitchen is fine during the week might have something to do with the fact that a janitor comes by and cleans it. Bizarrely, the chef did not realize that this was the case - did he think some good soul among the French college students - or, imagine, the foreign grad students - woke up early and gosh darn got that done?

Then this morning, a girl who looked about 12 but who is, I think, in college, or maybe French college which is middle school, was having a discussion with the janitor about the state of the kitchen. I missed the beginning of the conversation, but it ended with her profusely thanking the janitor for cleaning the kitchen, telling her that for doing so she was "très gentille." It seemed as though what had come before was this girl really berating the janitor for the state of the kitchen, as opposed to this having been one of those free-floating moments of awkwardness when those of us not accustomed to having "help" have to figure out how to respond when, for example, a janitor comes by and empties the trash bin from our basement offices.

Next came some passive-agressive notes. Loooong passive-agressive notes, taking up several sheets of paper, with lots of all-caps. I saw my neighbor and told her to check out the passive-agressive notes. She then showed me a picture she'd taken of the state of the kitchen that morning. Now it made a bit more sense - some kids from outside the hall if not the dorm had, it seems, come through and basically eaten what they wanted from the communal fridges (making me very glad to have a mini one in my room - no one's stealing my one-euro camembert!) and what they didn't want, thrown all across the floor. This was not about the chef needing his perfect workspace. I'm still not sure whether the janitor was chastising the girl who so was not responsible for rowdiness, or whether the problem was that the janitor had not made a dent in the mess until the girl came by and made some demands. It could be that all the kids are having finals now, and this being a high-pressure school, going slightly insane.

Then came still more passive-agressive notes, accompanied by photos of the state of the kitchen that morning. The dorm is on the cusp of dividing between cuisinards and anti-cuisinards. Between that and the construction, it's a fair bet that once my laundry's done, today will be a library day.

1 comment:

Jewlicious said...

Drama or no drama I'm still jealous. Mmmm. Europe.