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The Night Meal


The Night Meal

I don’t know why the dinner that someone had left for the pigeons at the Marina took me back to the night meals in the University of Sydney’s International House college, as if I’m a night bird that crosses oceans in the mind. And I’m not even sure which night meals I’m referring to. There was a night meal made of fun stuff during exam period. And there were plates that the kitchen prepared for busy students and you were allowed to covet them from a cetrain hour onwards. When I look back at my year in Sydney it seems as if I haven’t stopped eating there for a minute. On certain lucky dates you could in theory eat 8 meals on a single day in college. Breakfast, weekend’s late breakfast, lunch, lunch that wasn’t claimed by the owners, weekend’s teatime, dinner, dinner that wasn’t claimed by the owners, exam period night meal. And this without mentioning the free hot chocolate from the machine, the hot chocolate that made me fall in love with the college already on the first night when I sat on the soft sofas and sipped in the company of international students. I can think of a number of reasons for the amounts of food I consumed there in Sydney, but there’s one in particular that’s interesting. Inside the college there was a small amazing warm and loving home for me. And outside the college’s door spread a giant continent, almost as far away from home as possible, foreign to me more and more as I got to know it, becoming more and more inaccessible. And what’s more pleasant to do at home than to eat warm tasty home food. And what’s more comforting far away from home than to eat and pad the growing and expanding void in the heart. And what better recipe for incessant eating is there in the world than a giant foreign continent that surrounds a loving little island.

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