Term Two is now underway, and that means (among other things) that Hamburger Nights have started up again. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but last term I signed up to work in the kitchen. Along with having the joy of working alongside my students, I also get a free meal every Friday night (though the term “free” is used loosely here).
Last night, though, they already had plenty of workers, so I was off for the evening. Like my forefathers, I decided to make the most of the situation and joined the Ukarumpa Paparazzi. What follows is what I shall call “The Inner-Working of Hamburger Night: A Papuan Photo Journal.”
This, the Teen Center, is where Hamburger Night takes place. It’s a big gymnasium-type building with a huge kitchen, a loft, a stage, and a game room. And a graffiti-mural on one of the walls.
In the calm before the storm, the condiment people set out all the essentials for a good burger on a few central tables. Meanwhile, the rest of the kitchen staff prepares for the onslaught.
The window opens at 5:30 and the onslaught begins.
Once an order it taken, a slip of paper is passed to these folks, who then yell out “Two Salads,” or “Give me one Egg-Burger with Cheese!” nonstop for the next hour. This is usually my job.
While all this is going on, the other folks in the kitchen frantically fry chips (read “French Fries”), create beautiful salads, and flip burgers.
But what’s dinner without ice-cream? That, at least, is what my grandmother would say (unless she still had plenty of gumdrops… which she always did). These folks make milkshakes, coke floats, and sundaes – and do a mighty fine job at it.
Once an order is filled, the servers take it away, deliver it (always with a smile), and (when the deed is done) stick it on the spike.
The final job goes to the dish-washing crew, who (I’m happy to say) often have far too much fun hand-washing dishes for a hundred or more well-fed folks.