By: HALLIE LIU
Nanjing – During the cooler months, we seek out the heat of love. As we begin to head out of fall and into winter, many HNC-ers have begun to dabble in the art of committing to another human being. I, on the other hand, have been committed since day one to the art of loving the cafeteria. Through our time together, I have seen past its façade of a sterile, efficient, food-serving machine and straight to its core. The HNC Cafeteria is the most romantic place on earth. Don’t believe me? Check these tips out, and don’t forget to thank me later.*
*P.S., I take Alipay.
1. Order two drumsticks and put them on one plate. Share them with your date.
Will the two of you gently brush foreheads, or will it be a full-on skull-on-skull collision? I have no clue, but I’ve heard that mystery is hot, variety is the spice of life and the pain of collision radiates heat. So, all in all, something’s gonna feel warm tonight.
2. Reenact Lady and the Tramp with glass noodles.
The cafeteria serves a very delicious and very colorful spaghetti dish. According to an anonymous source*, it is impossible to wash out of nice, printed blouses. Glass noodles are clear, have comparable tensile strength and are blissfully short. You don’t think I’m reenacting Lady and the Tramp for the five minutes of chewing action, do you?
3. Dine next to the dish return – specifically, next to the fan by the dish return.
One out of one respondent agrees: Turn the fan on, and it feels just like being on a cruise.* The floor is your deck, the clattering sounds of plastic are your ocean waves. Get lost in the anonymous crowd of plate scrapers, perform your best slow dance and try your best to not knock over the compost bin. The earth needs to be fertilized more than you do.
*Response was unclear as to whether a tropical or Alaskan cruise
4. Eat with the lights turned down low in the cafeteria alcove.
If anyone dares enter your alcove or, heaven forbid, turn the lights on: stare at them until they run away. Blinking is weakness. Be sure to grip your date’s hand throughout the process. Blood flow equals disinterest. Remember that there’s a reason why you’re happily taken and that light switch-flipping loser is single.
5.Conflicted between sealing the deal and eating dessert? Have the best of both worlds and commit to your beloved with a delicious powdered doughnut.
What can I say, they fit on fingers and taste great. Bonus tip: for extra romance, the first window from the right has soft lighting, soothing scenery, and a ledge just wide enough for one doughnut plate.
Titillated by my tips? You’ll only get more excited once you realize how effective they are. If it all pans out, remember to invite me to the wedding; if it doesn’t, my breakup article will be coming out next spring. Look out for it, my Alipay will stay open for you.
Hallie is a staff writer at the Nanjing Bureau. She is a certificate student at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.