Monday, 2 November 2015

MIDNIGHT MUSINGS

When my mother told me 9 years ago that I would be going to a boarding school, I was excited out of my mind. One of my biggest expectations was to have a lot of midnight feasts in the dark. St Claire's, the series by Enid Blyton had greatly influenced my images of boarding schools and today, food is usually an important part of my favourite memories.
Bringing food into school was one of those rules that nearly everybody broke. My friends and I were no different. When dinner ended at 7:30, I was usually already thinking about the sweet treats waiting back in our cupboards, hidden behind me pile of uniforms.
At night, our matron would walk around to check if everybody was in their beds, switch the lights off and go down to her own room. Her door banging shut was like an alarm that set off all the "illegal" things that happened in the dark. People got up from their beds and went straight to their hangout spots. Like rats that come out in the night, everybody goes straight to the source of food - that one friend whose turn it was to share.
There were usually six kinds of people in these social gatherings. The paranoid one who hits the panic button with the slightest of sounds. The practical one that is usually the fastest when the matron really comes up for her surprise checks. The foodie who cannot wait when it comes to munching, usually the first one there, last one to leave and the noisiest when it comes to opening food packets. The accountant usually keeps a tab on our stock of food and has an approximate idea of how much we can eat a day so as to let our food last the longest. The head chef who comes up with the craziest (but most delicious) combinations out of the most random things and lastly the bad ass who is the least afraid and claims to have the courage to offer food to our  matron if she does catch us.
Midnight feasts were put on a really high pedestal. It was that one time of the day that a lot of us waited for. Friendships were made and broken over it. A sacred routine.