We Don’t Burn Our Food

A few weeks ago, after smelling burnt cooking oil through our vents one too many times, I sent a text to our basement tenants: “I look forward to the day you are no longer burning your food.”

Our tenants are 2 young men from Venezuela, who are here studying English. From the smells emanating from the basement I have concluded they are learning how to cook. They are troopers, I’ll give them that, based on the frequency with which we are subjected to cooking odours that have not been created by us.

The response to my text was the title of this post: “We don’t burn our food.” No smiley face accompanied that message, either. Just 1 more week of this cooking until the tenants move on. I can only imagine the work ahead of us to rid the apartment of manly body odour and cooking oil. Last time we were faced with this was from a family who liked to prepare fried fish. That was a big job, complete with odour-absorbing chemicals and vigorous scrubbing.

These are just 2 examples of why I don’t like to rent the apartment for longer than 2 months at a time. Our next guests are a couple, 1 of whom is a pastry chef. I’m really hoping she likes to cook at home, because that’s a smell I could enjoy.


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