Latest posts by Charlotte Aimee Hulme (see all)
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Now correct me if I’m wrong, but post night-out the most desirable thing is something to eat. We, as the stereotypical students that we are, stumble into the kitchen the following day, frantically searching for something edible to soothe our broken minds!
This morning, I was this student. I awoke much later than I should have done… (I’m a student, it’s fine) and I then proceeded to kind of roll/skip to the kitchen in a drunken stupor.
I was on the phone to my Dad (half listening, half foraging through the fridges/freezers/cupboards) when I suddenly stopped and looked around. Now, I live with 10 people and so keeping a kitchen clean is a bit of task as is. However – I, as the neat freak that I am, continue to put up with absolutely outrageous dirt and mess in the kitchen. I keep telling myself it’s “just for one year, Charlotte, it’s just for one year!!”
However, this morning trumped all mornings. The kitchen, Ladies and Gentlemen… well, it hit an all time low, and that is the understatement of the year. As I proceeded to side step squashed carrots and peas to make my way over to my cupboard which had been barricaded by a wall of shit (to put it bluntly), I felt physically sick!
Which leads me on nicely to my next blog post: STUDENT KITCHENS AND THE MESS THAT THEY ARE.
Sinks are for washing up right? Oh no, no, no. You couldn’t be more wrong. All of my innocent life I have been tricked into thinking that sinks are for washing up. However, upon being a student and sharing a kitchen I have learnt that a sink is actually just another word for a BIN. Yes, that’s right. A sink if where you throw all of your pots, pans, cutlery, leftover food, empty packets. You name it, it’s in the sink…In fact even the kitchen sink is in the kitchen sink. Students fill the sinks up to the brim, the water sloshes all over the floor and then instead of resurrecting the situation, what do they do? They walk away and leave it for someone else. Yep. No surprises. In fact…someone even grated their carrot in our sink yesterday.
Now, the floor is a challenge in itself. Walking on the floor without shoes is just a no-go zone. I tried this once. I decided to risk it. I walked into the kitchen…without shoes. Suffice to say, I’ve been scrubbing my feet ever since in a desperate attempt to get the whole of Sainsbury’s off my foot. The funny thing about the floor is that there seems to be some sacred rule that anything we drop on to the floor, stays there. Forever. In fact, it’s got to the point where people frown at you in a mix of confusion and disappointment if you pick something up off the floor and put it in the bin. However, hopping over crusty loaves and yesterday’s lasagne makes for a fun game to play, in an attempt to avoid sticky feet and navigate from one side of the kitchen to the other.
As if things weren’t bad enough…in comes “the parent”. Despite frantically attempting to clean a space that looks like several bombs have exploded, the parent still recognises the fact that you live in a cocoon of clutter and disarray. In fact, every time “the parent” comes to visit, they decline my kind offers of coffee and tea and food and instead they opt for eating out at a nearby restaurant…I honestly cannot think why this might be and I’ve certainly never eaten in such finery in all my life as when “the parent” comes to visit! Surely it can’t be because all the plates and cups and cutlery look like they’ve been savagely dragged through mountains of dirt? No, I don’t think that’s the reason. “The parent” sits awkwardly at a table surveying their surroundings with a grimace of disgust, all the while we students walk around with 9 air fresheners and 89138 cans of Febreeze trying to resurrect a lost cause.
So, the fridge is actually another word for ‘the competition of who can cause the worst smell and keep their food for so long that the sell-by date was 78 years ago’. If you’re thinking that this is a very bizarre competition then it’s probably because students are bizarre human beings. Student fridges consist of a pathetic attempt to eat healthy combined with out of date milk, cheese, butter and vegetables that haven’t seen the light of day since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969. If you’ve ever had enough of uni work and want to be knocked instantly into a state of everlasting sleep, then just open the fridge door. The smell alone will most probably kill you.
The Night Out
Pre-drinks in a student kitchen are usually fun affairs. However, the aftermath is the complete opposite. Walk in the next day and you’ll feel as though you’re reliving the party as you see every spirit you’ve ever known out on the table. Shot glasses used the night before end up becoming part of the furniture as they remain on the table for the foreseeable. Not to mention the remnants of the strange snacks that we drunkenly attempt to cook at 3,4,5 in the morning post night-club. These snacks typically consist of things that you would NEVER even think of cooking if you were sane and sober. Noteworthy snacks in the past are inclusive of handfuls of garlic cloves, plain white rice drenched in gravy and chicken nuggets. When I say chicken nuggets I mean an unfathomable amount of them burned to a crisp in the oven before being served dry and dishevelled. But hey, it tastes good right?
We might be students doing degrees in things like biochemical engineering, but we haven’t got the slightest clue on how to take out a bin and replace it with a bin liner. Nope, not the faintest idea. The bins are constantly overflowing, and if they’re not then you must’ve wandered into someone else’s normal, clean, human-like kitchen. The bins get to a point of no return, which usually becomes clear when we’ve stopped throwing things into them and instead opted for positioning our rubbish on the bin lid in a jenga-like manner and then tip toeing away in order to avoid moving too much and thus unbalancing your balanced item. In fact, it’s almost MORE effort to not take the bins out than it is to take them out. We get to a point where things have become so bad that we don’t even attempt to use the bins…hence why everything seems to end up on the floor or in the sink.
‘Can I “borrow” your tin opener?’
When living with people you love and trust, the simplicity of letting them borrow your kitchen utensils doesn’t seem like much of an issue right? Oh, no. You couldn’t be more wrong. All students are thieves, and do not forget it. If I had money for the amount of times I have lent my carrot peeler to someone and discovered it 11 years later under a pile of unwashed dishes, I wouldn’t have to do a degree at uni. In a student kitchen, when people “borrow” your things, what they actually mean to say is “can I have”, because there is NOOO borrowing going on, just take, take, take. The other day, I had to eat my soup with a fork as we’d all someone managed to misplace every single spoon ever purchased.
The Fruit and Veg Section
Now, we students in my flat have collectively decided to have an “area” for fruit and veg…which has caused many a visitor to enquire as to whether we are collecting for a harvest festival. The fruit and veg found in this designated “area” stays OK for a few days… and then comes the carnage. Decades go by and the fruit and veg, instead of being thrown onto the floor (as remember, the floor is the bin), just remains in the “area” slowly rotting away. Some of the objects you find, (as object is the only word I can use to describe this devastation), are that old and decayed that you wonder whether you’ve slept through 10 years of your life and woken up at 30. The mould gets that bad that we begin to have competitions on how long we can leave them in order to see that they look like, as some sort of weird science experiment you’d do when you were 4.
So, that’s the student kitchen. Upon beginning your journey in one of these fiery pits of hell you’ll think my blog post has been a huge exaggeration…Oh, how you couldn’t be more wrong. Things start off great, don’t get me wrong…but as the famous saying goes “all good things must come to an end”, unfortunately that “end” in this respect seems only to be the end of our sanity, the end of our degrees as we get booted out of uni for being the animals that we are, and the end of the sell-by date on every item ever purchased.
Oh, and to make us feel better about a shitty situation, here’s the photo we walk past every day as we enter the dragon’s lair…we’re the picture on the right (in-case you hadn’t already figured that one out…)!