House-training and house-hunting

After days of rigorous house-training, it appears that I can now make eggs and Brötchen in a way that is pleasing to Hermann. As I wandered around the kitchen looking for a saucepan and firing up the grill, I could hear Hermann muttering behind me.

My shoulders were firmly clasped and I was shuffled around the kitchen in front of him, ooh-ing and ahh-ing in understanding as he pointed out more acceptable German ways of making breakfast. At one point, he asked me if I had a kitchen at home so he really must think I’m the most useless article ever to grace his apartment. Still, lesson learned.

NEIN!
NEIN!
JA! Good little Irish woman...
JA! Good little Irish woman…

While I’m happy enough to be domesticated a little, I had to draw the line when Hermann tried to ‘help’ me dry my hair. It would appear that there is a more German way of doing that too. I mean, cooking an egg like a 70-year-old man is one thing, having the hairstyle of one is quite another. Plus, Hermann nearly has a seizure every time I use the dish-drying dish towel to dry my hands, and not the specially designated hand-drying dish towel… And so the flat-hunting began.

Hören Sie bitte - one is for dishes, one is for hands...
Hören Sie bitte – one is for dishes, one is for hands…

First up was a flat on Warschauerstrasse (Warsaw Street), and as luck would have it, the tram outside my door goes directly there. The transport system in Berlin is nothing short of amazing – until it isn’t. So, we were dumped at the side of the road at some random stop because of works on the line. When I asked the driver where Warschauer was, he pointed behind the tram which didn’t make much sense but you have to trust the Germans on these things.

After rambling aimlessly for around 15 minutes, asking people for directions (who all pointed in different directions – and people say Germans don’t have a sense of humour…) I figured out that there was a bus that would take me the rest of the way.

This too, dumped me out at the side of the road around four stops later, and still nowhere near Warschauer. So it was back on the tram to go the rest of the way. I could have been almost halfway to actual Warsaw in this time. When I finally showed up, I was nearly an hour late for my first German appointment, but luckily she was Egyptian so it didn’t really matter.

Home sweet home?
Home sweet home?

Although they seemed nice enough, the room was only going to be available for 3 to 4 weeks and I didn’t feel like doing all of this again so soon. And they were vegans… “Well, we don’t eat meat but we don’t really have a problem if you want to…” Getting the Death Stare over my weekend bacon wasn’t very appealing so I turned it down. And went to have a Currywurst and a beer to celebrate the fact that I am not a vegan.

That's it. Come to your non-vegan mama...
That’s it. Come to your non-vegan mama…

Later that evening, I went to see another apartment. I would have been sharing with an Italian girl who liked to cook. No-brainer. And the room was huge. We got on great and she said she’d call in a day or two to let me know. She didn’t. Bitch.

Anyway, luckily, I’d lined up another viewing – this time sharing with a Swedish guy. The second I saw the building and surroundings, I just knew I had to have it.

This will do nicely.
This will do nicely.

Fortunately, Bjorn didn’t want to waste too much time in finding someone so he agreed with me that I should have it. He preferred to share with a woman (because we’re tidy…) and I generally prefer blokes – match made in heaven. (Apart from the tidiness aspect.) Seemingly he travels a lot so I will have the place to myself quite a bit – I’ll run around and tidy up when he’s on his way back from the airport. Or just call Hermann who will do it better.

Celebration cake
Celebration cake

I’ll be moving in on Saturday, which means that my life in Germany can officially start. You can do NOTHING here without an address so let the bureaucratic adventures begin. Linda vs German Red Tape – it could be a death match.

Just thinking about it makes me want a glass of wine. I hope Hermann’s around to show me how to pour a glass properly in the German way…

 

 

 

 

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147 thoughts on “House-training and house-hunting”

  1. I’d never seen an electric egg thingy. I’ve always thought that bringing my pot of eggs and water to boil was efficient enough … live and learn?

    I love the look of your new place. I hope the moving in goes smoothly tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the apartment 🙂 After a day like that, I’d probably have had more German sausage than just that…and definitely more alcohol.

    I suppose order, rules, regulations – be careful what you wish for? Also – I will dry my hands on the dish-drying towel in my apartment tonight in tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Germans. Are. Nuts. I told you so. Now Im hoping you ll soon please us with a detailed description of German sex rules (I hope you dont break any).
    Btw I once lived with a 70 y.o. German lady for 3 months when doing a summer job in College. that was pure hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on your successful travel! And now, dear Linda, enjoy THE ORDNUNG! You had to stay with Hermann for longer to fully taste it. 😀
    My grandfather was half german – same all little things were totally important.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ironically, electrical cookers aren’t good for much more than boiling eggs (it’s a source of frustration if you want to do anything complicated on it) – why have a special little thingamajig for it, if you’ve already got a big one, is beyond me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Three house viewings and you’re done?! Ber-Linda is on the ball!

    This entry gave me flash-back shivers to braving the apartment search, and the loonies that I ran into along the way. Glad you’re getting out of Hermann’s hair (and vice versa) ASAP!

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    1. Holy crap! Now I’m hoping that the local supermarkets that offer more Scandinavian foods have it.

      (I also love the tube packaging. It may be caviar, it may be glue – you never know!)

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  7. Always celebrate the fact that you are not vegan 🙂
    I like the idea if a magic egg making device…but not if it comes with a Herman…
    I *have* separate towels for hands and dishes…but I set my hands on both and the dishwasher dries things…and if not I use paper towel…
    I think I would be thrown out of Germany!

    Also…yay! Awesome flat!

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  8. 3. I see you have tried Currywurst mit pommes! But where is the Berliner Weiße?! In Berlin you drink Berliner Weiße! Green, in ashtray formed glass and a straw!

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  9. 1. Congratulations on your new apartment! It looks like… an interesting location. Is that Swedish “cohabitant” any hot? (Stupid question – I can hardly imagine an unhot Swede.)
    2. Oh, the kitchen towel separation thing! So typical! I have gone through all this “germanisation” thing myself and it’s amazing how adjusted I am now. The “bad” side-effect of my germanisation is that, when I go home to LV, I roll eyes about everything that my relatives do because it’s all so wrong (not German) 😀

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  10. You new place looks amazing! So jealous.

    And the only place I’ve ever seen one of those egg cooker things was in German student residence… where it actually made sense! If 6 people are having eggs, it actually IS easier to do it in the egg cooker.

    Sooo.. no run ins with Hermann over the separation of waste? That’s usually the first thing foreigners do wrong 😉

    Liked by 1 person

          1. LOL, outside we have… ummm… 5? But 3 are the same, we just don’t have room for a huge container. Glass has to be taken to an official collection point. Plastic bottles and beer bottles go back to the shop for money. And we don’t have a paper bin because Karlsruhe is weird (Mannheim does. Waste categories are decided by towns individually)

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, my. I think I’ve just peed a bit with laughter reading about the house-training bit. And here you were readying yourself for the move to Germany learning some German. I think you should have taken some house-training Latvian style instead, so when a German would try to teach you of the more ‘proper’ German ways of doing this and that you could just give them a good ol’ no-shitting me stare of a Latvian. I do recall your entries on the Latvians super-house women who can cook, clean, raise their kids, work, and make their men sit (*good doggie*) all at the same time sans the Swedish happy smile and glow 😉

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  12. OMG Your new place has so much nature! I love it already! I need to put Berlin on my travel schedule right away :))) My boss just got back from Germany (Berlin, Bonn, Cologne and some cute old town where they have special beer served in tiny glasses and it’s not sold anywhere else?) and she was floored by the efficiency and cleanliness of the place. But also how quiet everything is (in particular at Deutsche Welle HQs and even around our own offices (Lennestrasse, which I think is pretty central). I dont think I can do quiet, not after Moscow and NYC. But then they partied at some mad night club with 3000 people!

    My English friend told me a funny the other day. She was giving a Russian-language lesson to a German the other day, explaining the difference between ‘nelzya’ and ‘nevozmozhno’ – ‘may not’/’not allowed’ and ‘not possible to do’ (the confusion comes from the ‘mozhno’ root in the second – ‘you may’/’it is allowed’). ANYWHOOO, they got into a big argument over the example of crossing the street on the red light. For the German it was a strictly ‘nevozmozhno’ kind of a situation, no matter how hard she tried to explain that this would only apply if the red light came with a sudden appearance of a moat, a wall and barbed wire. Yes, the German universe has entirely different rules. I bed the apples dont even fall from the tree without permission. And when they do, they follow a very perfect, prescribed process, that supersedes silly things like gravity. Simone, can we get a confirmation on this?

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    1. Berlin is anything but quiet! If we could find fun in Riga, we’ll have no problems here!
      I’ve been a bit surprised by the Germans and their road-crossing actually! While I’m standing at the side of the road, trying to be ‘GERMAN’, they’re all nipping across on the red man! I’ve even seen people hopping barriers in the middle of the road – shocking, I tell you 😉 God knows what Hermann would do if he saw that…

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      1. Wait… what? The Berliners DON’T wait for the little green man? SHOCKING behaviour!! If they tried doing that where I live, the death glares would be out in full force! (To be fair, it’s mainly old people and people with children who insist on waiting for the green man – plus one of my colleagues! although EVERYBODY waits of there are police cars around. It’s technically illegal).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that must be either not German Germans, either Eastern Germans in that case. They might have had their chance to err somewhat form ‘ALWAYS follow the rules’ during the post WW2 period 😉 True Germans never ever do anything contrary to the rules in my book

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A friend of mine was shocked while driving a car in Italy. It was a red light but the police officer was gesticulating that there were no cars from the crossing road, and invited him to move on, in order not to cause unnecessary traffic jams behind.

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    2. In my experience, the worst offenders when it comes to pedestrian lights are the English – for all the nice lights and buttons and zebras, they just don’t give a toss, even if it’s a busy four-lane street in London!

      Germans in my experience have as much pedestrian light discipline as people in Latvia do (well, maybe a little more), i.e. most people wait most of the time. Even though it’s not illegal to cross on a red as a pedestrian here, the pedestrian lights are there to warn you, not to make you stop.

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      1. Well, in all fairness, Gogoļa is quite busy there, and it isn’t legal to cause an obstruction to traffic. I certainly wouldn’t cross it willy-nilly.

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  13. I didn’t know electric egg cookers were a thing?! Seems a bit ridiculous. As ridiculous as needing two towels in the kitchen. So when can I come to the ikea den!?

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    1. I’ll probably be in this place until Christmas then I’ll look for a place by myself – or start a month or two before that, but really you can come any time! 🙂
      And yes and yes to your first two observations 🙂 Looks like Hermann went out early this morning – bet he rocks up just as I’m taking out my egg…

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  14. Congrats on the flat, that was record time! And the door of that first one…. woah, sketch city. So true on Berlin public transit. Every time I’ve been there, shit’s been under construction so a straight shot turns into switching lines 5 times. I come back to Nbg with our 3 lines and short distances, skipping with joy.
    Hermann sounds awesome. You should probably sign up for some sort of German customs tutelage with him, even after you move out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I think I might just run and never look back 🙂
      The first one was in Friedrichshain – super-hipster and packed on a Sunday afternoon, but yeah, parts were a bit sketchy looking! I guess they do work on the lines at the weekends – should have factored that in! I know now 🙂 5 lines – bless 🙂

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      1. We were staying in Steglitz, and it seemed that everything we wanted to do was on the complete opposite end of town. Friedrichshain is pretty cool, but yeah… I hear it gets creepy at night. I’d have pepper spray handy every time I went to my door if it looked like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s an awesome result, patting you on the back (from all of us)!
    Is the Swedish guy handsome and a barrel of laughs?
    Good / nice part of the city?
    When are you moving in?

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    1. Yep, nice quiet part of the city – but on the U-Bahn so quick enough to get everywhere! And supermarkets etc, and a big park nearby 🙂 Moving on on Saturday!
      Haven’t decided if Bjorn is handsome but probably a bad idea to overstep with the flatmate 😉

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    1. Yes, I feel very strident – and German!
      What an oversight on your part with the dish/hand towel thing – I’ve never seen anything like it haha! Hermann whipped it out of my hand the other day and actually rapped me on the knuckles! 🙂 I figure it keeps him active 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

            1. I nearly flooded the bathroom this morning. Shower head is at a bloody stupid angle and I didn’t notice that water was bouncing off me and out of the shower – spent a frantic 10 minutes mopping it all up and hiding the evidence 😉

              Liked by 2 people

    1. Wilkommen to Hermann’s kitchen 😉 Yeah, I don’t even know what it’s called but that’s what it does! You put a little bit of water into it, hit the switch and it makes an ungodly buzzing noise 5 minutes later to let you know that it’s done – quite handy actually! 🙂 Though I’m not sure I’d actually buy one…

      Liked by 1 person

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