Friday, September 23, 2011

No Food is Allowed in the Fridge

Its a rule at work. No food is allowed on the entire third floor where the Applied Linguistics department resides. Especially not in the kitchen, fridge or the lounge/conference/tutoring room where I eat lunch. Don't jump to conclusions. I have yet to break any rules. I figured I'd save that for next semester.

How does one eat lunch without consuming food? Very carefully.
I began to understand the distinction between "food" and all other consumables after a conversation with an expat friend who is married to a Dominican. "I come home sometimes," she explained to me, "and he says that he hasn't eaten all day. What?! I ask and he confirms, 'Yeah. I only had a sandwich for lunch!'"

I'm compiling a list. In the fridge last week there was a papaya, yogurt and a cake. Not food. Sandwiches aren't food. Chips, cookies and mild cheeses. They don't have "food" status either. Each time I put my lunch bag in the fridge, the person in charge of cleaning the kitchen and serving coffee asks me sternly, "Is that food?" I have to convince myself I'm not lying to her when I answer, "Nope!" and then run away.

After a potluck lunch last week in the conference room, our fabulous head secretary came in and thoroughly doused the room in air freshener as if we had been changing dirty diapers. She was covering for us somehow. I just didn't understand it entirely. Today, we found out why. The true definition of food, according to the Linguistics Department, is any sustenance that emits a lingering smell.

As there isn't any microwave available, I should be able to bring a nice variety of "non-food items" to eat cold without worrying about the Smell-Emission Police. Lunch is solved.

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