Monday, 24th March 2003
The cubboard next to the stove is filthy. My enthusiasm for huanggua jiaorou and sweet and sour pork has splashed beyond the stove. The side of the cubboard is covered with dried oil and soya sauce.

As spring is in the air the time is perfect spring cleaning. A great plan, but the mess does not give in so easily. Hot water and soap have no effect. Resistance is fierce.

So on to tougher measures: a pot scourer and abrasive cleaner. The progress works just a little bit better. The first white square comes in sight. But this stamp size gain of territory has exhausted me.
Scourer on drill
Drill and scourer,
the perfect sand machine

After a brief ceasefire I decide to strike with overwhelming force. I employ a high tech weapon, a homemade sand machine:

  1. a power drill, without a drill bit, the part that holds the bit retracted so no parts are sticking out,
  2. a pot scourer tied with an old shoelace to the front of the drill,
  3. some abrasive cleaner as chemical weapon on the scourer.
Armed with this arsenal I resume combat. A short test at maximum speed is successful. It is not a pretty sight, drops are flying all over the place, but it works. The test is successful. The first territories of the cubboard give in. Now, this job should be done in just a matter of minutes.

This high tech assault has one disadvantage though: a bombardment of noise. My neighbours won't appreciate this attack. Still, asking for their permission is out of the question. Some kind of agreement with regards to disturbance by drills exists, but I just ignore that as irrelevant. I don't want this spring cleaning to stop because of a neighbour's veto.

Spring is coming. Now is the perfect time for a spring cleaning. A few ear plugs are the perfect protection against permanent hearing problems. As a side effect I won't hear any neighbourhood complaints. This is going to be a cleaning operation on a scale never been seen before.

The resistance is more fierce than expected. My initial optimism, hoping for a quick battle, is soon outdated. It takes me an hour and a half to work on the cubboard, with the drill set on maximum speed. The most resilient spots finally give up, after some high precision work. Yes, the battle is finally drawing to a close. The side of the cubboard is now like one big white flag.

The bottle of oil is ready for use again. The first dishes have emerged from the wok. And the first stains are back on the cubboard.

Every victory, no matter how absolute, is a temporary one.

Till next nut,