You know how sometimes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then it hits you, like, damn life is good after all!
Here I am, in the lounge in my friends’ dorm (the sort of lounge with wooden flooring/paneling, beautiful fireplace, mood lighting, large armchairs, like something from an Enid Blyton book), slumped low on the sofa, typing away on my laptop, listening to one of my friends playing the piano 10 feet away.
I can hear the wind howling like crazy outside, but in here I am as warm as ever.
I’m full from a lunch of baked pancakes drenched in syrup, Korean instant noodles, scrambled eggs, and “pickle tea leaves”, which is some kind of Myanmar traditional food.
I’ve moved my stuff over to this dorm, and I’m waiting for my laundry to get done. In two hours one of my friend’s host mom will come and pick up the few of us staying for the winter to go Christmas caroling (which is super kind of her, considering that friend left for home and isn’t here).
Then when we come back, we’ll have to go through the whole rigmarole of scrounging for food for dinner because it is freaking -20 degrees outside and the wind is howling like there’s no tomorrow, ergo we have not been able to go out to buy stuff to cook/eat.
* * * * *
It was so funny you know, the way we cooked for lunch! (If “cook” is even the correct word to describe what we were trying to do.)
So the thing was, we tried walking out to the grocery store yesterday, but the wind was so strong it was blowing our hoods/hats off.
You know how in the desert, when there’s a huge wind, the sand starts flying everywhere and you can’t even open your eyes? It was like that last night. Not to mention, it is #$%^&* negative 20 degrees Celsius!
One of my friends walked with me to my room so that I could grab my stuff to move to their dorm. My dorm’s at North campus. Their rooms are at South.
The walk from South to North then back to South felt like the longest, most horrible walk in my entire life.
We had to squint because the wind was blowing the snow up from the ground into our eyes. Our hoods were flying off. My toes were completely numb. Worst of all, we had to drag my laundry bag full of clothes and a bag of food as we struggled through the 2-feet deep snow. We felt like in the movies loh, you know, like people dragging their sad selves as war rages on around them.
When I got back my hands hurt so bad, like it’d been through fire or something.
So this morning we looked around the common kitchen for anything edible, and found a huge sack of pancake mix.
Good, got food to eat, plus it’s pancake mix so it’s easy to cook, right?
Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.
No bowl to mix the powder and water in.
Look under sink, grab the small plastic basin, use that instead of bowl.
No pan to fry the pancakes in.
Look around in kitchen on second floor. Oh look, there’s a frying pan in the sink!
Frying pan from second floor is caked with super dried up (and burnt) egg bits.
Scrub, scrub and scrub again. Complain about why people don’t do their own dishes (despite the fact that we’re using their pan without asking first.) (But nevermind, everyone’s gone home anyway.) Srub
Pan sucks. Too old. Pancake sticks even when pan is oiled. Trial pancake #1 turns out super ugly-looking.
Use friend’s cake tray. But friend is not here! Nevermind, use anyway, she wouldn’t mind.
So we ended up pouring all the pancake batter into the cake tray (not before putting Hershey’s kisses in the batter!), and baked it in the oven. It ended up looking more like a cake then anything. We found maple syrup in one of the cupboards, and poured a whole lot over our cake, and it ended up being REALLY good.
Or maybe we were just hungry, but whatever.
It was such a funny sight, a Korean, a Burmese (or Myanmarian?), an Iranian and a Malaysian who has never cooked a proper meal in her life trying to solve their cooking woes.
But I loved every part of it. I especially loved that when we finally (FINALLY!) got to sit down and eat, we had pancakes (so American), pickle tea leaves (so Myanmarian), and Korean noodles (so Korean -duh), and we all exchanged stories from our countries. It’s funny how our countries and cultures are so often the topic of our conversations. But I’m not complaining, every story they tell is so interesting!
On one hand, I am super skeptical of our cooking abilities, I think we’re probably going to be calling for pizza delivery a lot.
(We actually did have pizza from Jimbo’s last night. What started out as dinner out of a pizza box on the floor in my friend’s room turned out to be a full fledged song-and-dance session. One of my friends played a few Westlife songs on her laptop, everyone started singing along, and before I knew it, we were dancing to Persian songs and jumping like mad to Simple Plan. Damn good fun to start off the holidays!)
On the other, I can’t wait. I am excited, I don’t know how our meals will turn out, I can’t wait to see what we conjure up, and as my Iranian friend said, “Every day is like an adventure”.
Not going home for Christmas can be fun after all!