Roommates are challenging. This is my first time sharing a flat with someone else outside my family. And it has been a bit hard so far.
More so, because they are all Chinese and I am not. We communicate in english, but they prefer to discuss everything amongst themselves (in Chinese obviously) and then one of them informs me of their decision in regards to anything flat related.
At the beginning I thought it would be funny, and that I would learn from another culture. Which has happened, and I’ve even learned to butcher some words in Mandarin. (Not intentionally, just my tongue is not cooperative enough). But, the big problem came when cleaning was in the mix.
Imagine, waking up at 7am going for a run and coming home thinking of the breakfast you want to have with a nice cup of tea. And surprise! A dirty kitchen.
And it was not a dirty kitchen like –“Hey! I left a cereal bowl in the sink before I had to run to class” dirty. It was more of a “We decided to reenact an exploding volcano for breakfast” kind of dirty.
This scenario consisted of a stove dirty with grease, dirty plates, bowls and pans all over the sink, and unidentified miniature-objects (most likely food particles) on the floor.
This happened this week. It felt as if it was happening in slow motion: I walked into the kitchen happily singing to “Hamilton“‘s score and doing some awkward dance moves– when suddenly, there, in front of me I saw this mess of a kitchen. It is fair to mention, that the previous night having been the last to use it, I made sure that the place was clean enough for all of us to share.
I would like to say that my reaction was zen, and calm and that I proceeded to cook my breakfast as if nothing had happened. But no, my reaction was the exact opposite.
I started cursing out loud about the inability of people to clean after themselves, while taking our rubber gloves and my cleaning supplies and just taking out all my anger into the kitchen tiles, floor, and dirty dishes (none of which were mine) Imagine Rosie the robot maid from the Jetsons in a fit of rage scrubbing everything around her dressed as if she was ready to work out.
All I could think was “WHY IS GREASE SO DIFFICULT TO REMOVE FROM ELECTRICAL STOVES!!!!!!!!” It was not attractive. But very cathartic in a strange manner.
That’s exactly how my birthday weekend started. in a cleaning-OCD fit of rage. Needless to say that when one of my roommates came later that night asking how to cook an avocado I was less than impressed.