The moving boxes are piled up to the ceiling. I’ve just moved and the great unpacking can begin. My mother was sweet enough to help me with this mega-job. “Shall I do the kitchen?” she offered enthusiastically. And who would be better than a mother to know how to organize a kitchen practically? You don’t need to explain anything to a mother; she feels instinctively the logic of an intelligent system. Courageously she begins unpacking the boxes. So far, so good.
After half an hour, she calls me in. Would I look at some things? I walk in the kitchen and the entire countertop is filled with “coffee and tea utensils.” Dozens of measuring cups and dishes, thermometers, coffee presses,teapots of every form and size… Enough equipment to open a second business! “I don’t know what all of this is and what belongs to what” my mother said, doubting. “I put all of the doll-house china together” she said, referring to my beloved collection of Chinese and Japanese tea bowls.
Normal kitchen gear
“And what are these?” My mother asked. To-go cups, mum. There are enough to fill half of a kitchen cabinet. “And what do you do with them? Do you really need so many?” At this point she looks even a little concerned, like, “ach, child, do you even have enough normal kitchen equipment?” I have to admit that she is right. Now that it is all standing on the counter, I estimate that ¾ of my kitchen utensils are meant for coffee and tea.
Oolong next to ‘Jäger’
For an outsider it looks like a thrown together mess. My mugs are, for instance, all different. I collect those with coffee brand, roasters and coffee shop logos so it is logical that no two are alike. To say nothing of my colourful collection of expresso cups! Some people buy teaspoons as a souvenir of a vacation, I fill my suitcase with expresso cups, the uglier the better. And then my mother hasn’t even looked in the fridge. ¾ of the door is full of tea samples. And I store my stock of oolong in the freezer next to the bottles of ‘Jäger.’ It stays longer fresh there.
In the end I decided to arrange the kitchen myself. From the living room I hear my mother’s voice “Uh, sweetheart. How about some Tupperware for your birthday?”