For the record, I had an excellent day until about five minutes ago. I drove myself to work and only made one wrong turn. I drove myself home and made no wrong turns. I ate fish & chips for lunch at the White Row farm and narrowly avoided having my credit card denied for being US-based. It didn't rain. I brought real coffee to work. It was a good day. I thought to myself, "Yeah, I think I'm finally starting to feel at home here."
And that whole day, all I was thinking about for dinner was delicious macaroni and cheese. I could not wait to go home and have macaroni and cheese.
Let's go back.
A few days ago I bought Kraft Mac & Cheese at Sainsbury's. It was my favorite meal as a kid and it's easy to make, so I figured it would be a good first foray with the stove here. They call stoves "the hob" in these parts, by the way.
All day long today, I looked forward to this Mac & Cheese. My standards aren't high. I ate dino mac long after being a college student. I often fail to put milk in at the end. Or butter. And still, I find it tolerable. But if there's one thing that will guaranteedly send me into meltdown mode, it is looking forward to some specific food all damn day and then having my plans completely slapped out of my hands.
So I get home from work today, I take one more meeting, then I write a long email to a coworker about apartment options near Bath and where I can set my expectations. By 7:00 or so, my stomach is gurgling. Time for Mac & Cheese. Yes!
After some rooting around and finding a hidden cupboard with no handle, I locate a pot of reasonable size. I add water, put it on the stove, then go for the knobs. The knobs, I realize, are not labeled. Instead, they have pictures. There's sparkle, big pac-man, little pac-man, and square clock. In addition, each burner is a different size. Pressing the knob down and turning it to the "big Pacman" does not keep it lit. And because I was Frankenstein in a past life, standing there hearing it tick and flames blasting out over and over was not my idea of a good time.
So I Facetime my parents. They're not sure either. The sparkle should ignite the flame. The big pac-man should be high heat. And yet, the damn thing won't stay lit. We both start googling manuals for the stove.
Thirty minutes later, I get it working.
The water boils and the noodles boil, all in all taking another 15-20 minutes. At long last, it was time for Mac & Cheese.
Little did I know, it would never be time for Mac & Cheese.