“What the heck is a dirty kitchen?”, I asked my wife. We were living near Chicago, thinking about building a home back in the Philippines, close to where she grew up. She explained a dirty kitchen was usually a structure right next to the house used for cooking. Now you can probably guess what I said next. “The house we build will already have a kitchen for cooking.” You can also probably guess what happened. We built the house, and yes, it did include a dirty kitchen.
Our dirty kitchen was better than some homes in the area. It was made of wood and bamboo, with a tin/metal roof, measuring 20 feet by 10 feet. Many horrible smelling meals have been prepared in that building, which is why I’m glad my wife insisted we have it. My job is to hide inside the main house and wait for someone to bring me food, which is often different from what my wife and our frequent guests are served. A few times they wanted me to try what they were eating, but my eyes would tear up before I could get close enough for a taste.
After 15 years, the dirty kitchen was rotting away, and my wife insisted on a new one. I managed to stall for over a year, but now it’s being built. It took only 2 hours to destroy and remove the old dirty kitchen.
My property looks like a lumber yard. There is an insane amount of wood. Seeing my confusion, my wife sweetly explained, “The new one is going to be 34 feet by 16 feet”. This is what I get for deciding early on to stay out of it. Oh well, too late now. Time to crack a cold one and stay out of the way.
The construction started about a week ago, and now I can see all the beams and cross supports being pounded into place. This thing looks so strong that a major earthquake might barely scratch it. If the Nazi’s had a bunker this strong at Normandy, they might have won the war.
When you think about your typical Filipino dirty kitchen, most foreign men would envision a weekend project with their buddies. Mine is expected to take 6 professionals about 5 weeks. As far as I can tell, this dirty kitchen will come in at around 400,000 pesos ($8,000 U.S.). My wife is keeping track of the expenses, and if interested, I’ll be happy to share them with you when we are done after I stop crying. At least I’m not alone in my dismay. Our dogs used to sleep under the old dirty kitchen.
At this point, what worries me most is that I already agreed to have an outdoor bathroom built when the dirty kitchen is done. I hope my wife is only planning a one story building.