Earlier this year, Manfredas asked me to move in with him. This was actually a brave move on his part as I’d previously told him that I’d set fire to my kitchen while making a ham and cheese toastie. Twice.
Still, from my point of view, it was a great idea for a number of reasons:
- Germans have better insurance than I do – i.e. they have insurance.
- I’d accidentally flashed my boobs at my elderly neighbour while I was getting dressed and he was having a smoke on his balcony. He’d been very unfriendly to begin with, but it turned out that all it took was an impromptu peep show to lead to daily invitations to his apartment for a drink. I politely (then not so politely) declined.
- I’d managed to clog my shower drain with hair beyond what my questionable abilities as a plumber could cope with. Loath to go and tell the Hausmeister and watch him pull a yeti out of there, I tried (and failed) to use my own methods.
I decided to leave my slightly blackened oven, randy neighbour and hirsute shower drain behind and accept Manfredas’ offer. (Sometimes I can be just as romantic as the Germans.)
Manfredas lent me some boxes from when he’d last moved and I assured him I would be packed up and ready to go that weekend. Unfortunately, it seemed that my box-putting-together skills were about as developed as my cooking and plumbing skills. Never fear – after about half an hour of arsing around on youtube, I found what I was looking for, put my first box together (with a lot of pause/play/swearing) and it was plain sailing from there.
Utilising a woman’s touch I didn’t know I possessed, I adorned Manfredas’ (sorry, OUR) flat with cardboard boxes, clothes and shoes, cosmetics, toiletries, and four wineglasses and a packet of Bisto – the only things worth taking from my old kitchen.
Me: (upon closer inspection of my new kitchen) I’m afraid I have to move out.
Manfredas: You just moved in! What’s wrong?
Me: I can’t reach the wineglasses. This could be a deal-breaker.
Luckily Manfredas – being the resourceful sort that he is – quickly remedied the situation and disaster was averted.
While I could cope with living out of a suitcase for a week or so, I kind of needed to hit the ground running on the work front so the first priority was a desk, chair and shelving unit for my brand new home office. Yes, home office. I am now fancy.
An hour or so in Sconto and I was the proud owner of all of the above. In flat-pack form.
While Manfredas was happy enough to let me bash a dowel (I just had to ask him what the word is for “the little wooden things that you hammer into other things to make furniture stick together”) every now and then, it was decided that my unique skill-set would probably be better put to use in keeping the music going and the wine flowing.
Manfredas: Hmm, I don’t think the tools given are good enough for this bit. I need a drill. (Produces a rather nice Black & Decker drill set.)
Me: Bah haha! You own drills!
Manfredas: Well, of course I own drills. How else do you think things get on walls?
Me: Oh yes. Right. That makes sense.
Sometimes I forget that I’m a grown-up dating a grown-up.
Anyway, in a few short hours – for me, at any rate – the office was complete.
Once I had everything in place, it was time for the next phase – showing me how to use the TV, the heating, the dishwasher, the washing machine and various other gadgets that Germans love. Amazingly, Manfredas has undertaken to do most of the cooking so a cooker tutorial didn’t really come into play.
This probably explains why the flat is still standing and we’re rubbing along nicely together. I guess he should probably put the ham and cheese on the top shelf of the fridge though…