And I Can Cook, Too

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oh Thank God (as you may or may not believe him or her to exist)

I arrived in room 141 of the Napier building and not only was it not deserted, it held Barbara, that guy from his office, other students, and people wearing bleu jackets with patches! We were welcomed, we were introduced. We were told how elite we are. We were handed a 1000 page study guide for the first six-week course. We were asked if we’d purchased the three required texts for the course and strongly encourage to do the additional recommended reading. We were regaled with the merits of the program and informed of the emotional journey we were about to take. “This will be the time of your life!” the Le Cordon Bleu rep informed us, “You will learn, you will laugh, you will cry.” (“Ha.” I thought. “That’s what you think. I’m conserving water.”)

After the welcome meeting we proceeded through registration, got our I.D.’s, took a campus and library tour, met our research librarian (Margaret who I already love by the way) and were treated to a fabulous buffet lunch prepared by last years incoming students, complete with wonderful South Australian pink wine. Watching my wine intake carefully (Barbara was there and I didn’t want her to get the right idea on the very first day) I milked that buffet until the bitter end, staying late to help with clean up and chat with all the other students about their dissertation topics. By the time all was said and done, it was 4pm, and I only had six hours to kill until bedtime. I went to the bookstore and bought the obvious, then went off to the library where I could read and check my email until 6pm closing. Four hours to go.

I’d previously avoided the horrible hostel’s kitchen because every time I went in there it was full of 18 year olds, but tonight I picked up some food to reheat and eat on the upstairs lanai, where there might just be a breeze. The lanai had a couple of tables and chairs and two large sofas. I sat at an empty table and proceeded to eat my dinner and read one of my texts when I noticed the person on one of the sofas. The person, and it’s hard to say which flavor, was at least 15 years older than me, which put him/her and at least 35 years older than the rest of the people in the horrible hostel. S/he was chain-smoking, and drinking hot pink what I can only guess was cool aid from a plastic gallon jug. Every time the jug ran out, the person went and got more. There were at least three gallons of hot pink cool aid consumed during my sitting. Then the person decided to lie down, and in so doing rested their feet on the armrest of the sofa. The person had the most horrific toenails I had seen in my entire life. Long, curling, yellow, and coated with dirt. I have a fairly hearty stomach. And a reasonably open mind. What I do not have is a tolerance for that kind of toe hygiene. I retreated to my room.

Adelaide is a desert. Do not waste a drop.

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