Living with a German

After you’ve moved in with a German, the next logical step is actually living with him, complete with all of his goibles (German foibles). Manfredas will be delighted to learn that I’ve spent the last few months discreetly observing (and photographing) his unique German ways, and have compiled a short list of what it’s like to live with a German man.

Please note: This post may contain sweeping generalisations…

1. German men really love doing laundry

In my previous apartment, I didn’t have a washing machine in the flat. Instead, I had to buy a token from the Hausmeister (for €3.50 a pop, no less) and haul my washing down to the basement. So, I was rather chuffed that we would have our very own washing machine in the bathroom, which I could use whenever I pleased.

Yeah, right. Enter German man.

Me: What are you doing? 

Manfredas: Putting on a wash.

Me: Didn’t you just do a wash? 

Manfredas: Yes, but after this one, I’ll be good for the week.

Me: Uh huh.

One day later:

Me: What are you doing? 

Manfredas: Putting on a wash.

Me: You just did two loads! 

Manfredas: Yes, but after this one, I’ll be good for the weekend. 

Me: Uh huh. 

One day later: …

2. German men really love Tupperware

The first time I went shopping after moving in, I bought some sliced ham. I got home, put it in the fridge, as you do, and didn’t think about it again until the next day when I needed it for my lunch. But where was it?

Huh.

Yes, Manfredas had found it, opened it, sliced the ham in half, and then sealed it in one of his (many) neat little Tupperware boxes. This might seem logical – most things Germans do are – but to me, it just meant that I couldn’t see the “use by…” date any more. So, my only options were to just keep eating it until I finished it – or it turned green and started growing hair.

3. German men love using dishes

When I cook – which has been a whopping four times since I moved in over four months ago – I tend to plate up in the kitchen and then bring just those two plates into the dining room.

A German man, however, will never use one plate or bowl where ten will do. So, we end up with a little bowl for the veg, a little bowl for the potatoes, a little bowl for the salad, separate plates for the bread, and a large dish for whatever the main course is, complete with separate spoons/ladles to go with each. While it adds a touch of ceremony to every meal, I’m also bloody glad we have a dishwasher.

Germans even wash the things that wash things.

4. German men love light

Like most normal (read: non-German) people, I like to sleep in a dark room. Germans, on the other hand, seem to have a disdain for curtains that borders on the fanatical.

Me: Jesus Christ! What time is it? 

Manfredas: Just after 6.

Me: Jesus Christ! Why am I awake!?

The answer to this, however, was obvious – flimsy little blinds that prevent the neighbours from peering in but flood the room with sunlight at a time when I should be far away in the land of Nod. After a friendly discussion or two, I’m happy to announce that we now have blackout curtains, and Berlin can relax safe in the knowledge that I’m not going to fly into a murderous rage due to lack of sleep.

5. German men love gadgets

As someone who hates all kinds of housework, I was ecstatic to discover that Manfredas owns (among hundreds of other things)… A ROBOT HOOVER! Yep, meet the Roomba:

In theory, you switch him on, put your feet up and he goes around the apartment hoovering it for you. Then, when you tell him to, he takes himself off “home,” plays a triumphant little tune and goes to sleep again.

In practice, you switch him on, he immediately makes a beeline for under the sofa and stays there until you drag him out. He then hits a couple of items of furniture and goes back under the sofa again.

While I’m not overly impressed, if any of our guests ever chance to look under the sofa, they sure will be.

6. German men take holidays very seriously

As it’s only one more sleep until our next holiday, naturally, our conversation the other night turned to that very topic.

Me: Hey, is there a shortened, affectionate form of the word “holiday” in German?

Manfredas: NEIN! 

Me: Well, in Dublin, you’d say you were “off on your holliers.” No German equivalent of that? Urli? Laubchen? (The German word for holiday is “Urlaub.”)

Manfredas: Good God, no! Holidays are a serious business! Urlaub ist Urlaub! 

I realised just how serious he was the next day when I received an Excel spreadsheet of our travel itinerary – complete with petrol stations.

Me: You have officially out-Germanned yourself. 

And you thought I was joking…

7. Every German man in the world owns a pair (or several pairs) of these:

Badeschuhe!

Socks optional. But not if you’re German, of course.

So there you have it – or at least the first installment. In the interest of fairness, I did ask Manfredas if there was anything he finds odd or annoying about me but no, seemingly I’m perfect. Then again, he hasn’t read this yet.

Ah, the joys of living with a blogger…

 

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Living with a German”

  1. So, this is what puzzles me… arent Germans also uber environmentally conscious? That frequent use of washers and dishwashers seems everything but – all that water and electricity! So wasteful!

    Russians love those slippers too btw >.<
    And whatever, I planned my holiday in a spreadsheet back in 2008, NOT IMPRESSED 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True! My hubby won’t let me use the dishwasher until it’s full to bursting, and even then, we use organic washing powder, organic liquid and we actually paid more to buy an energy-efficient dishwasher, fridge, and washing machine. We have also switched to a green energy provider.

      I like to use a fresh cup with my cuppa. He won’t let me do that either. Because recycling!

      p.s. How are you Anna! 😀

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    2. Ha ha! It all turned out to be very useful! We had directions on paper so I was the navigator on this trip and we didn’t get lost – much 😉 And yes on the waste thing – Germans are a contradiction! They also leave everything plugged in all the time!

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  2. Haw! Haw! I’m with you with the tupperware and the gadgets. German hubby has a whole lot of stuff for the garden. I just use the mini-shears, and I’m done!

    He’s also into baking our own bread and making our own pasta. And also jars of home-made jam. And he’s pretty good at all too. However, when he bought this kitchen gadget, the box was so huge that I thought we were moving house or something!

    As for holidays and “house-shoes” well, being the excellent travel blogger that I am, I do all the research and organising flights and hotels. He does all the cars, and restaurant stuff, as I can’t be bothered. And at the end of it, out comes the excel sheet complete with dates and time of day!

    Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on the slippers. With socks. Both The German and The Boy do it. A pair of sandals with socks. I am blinded. Every. Single. Day. And worst of all, I own not one pair of Birkenstocks. But Two! I’ve gone onto the dark side.

    Help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I think you’ve crossed the final hurdle there! I’m considering buying hiking boots and some kind of Jack Wolfskin jacket so I think I’m also on the way! Realised how woefully unprepared I am for any sort of changeable weather on holiday and the Germans seem to have nailed this problem! Socks and sandals I will never do though – your poor eyes 😉

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  3. Spot on! German women operate the same way, by the way, and I am telling you, Berlinda, living with an Irishman who a) habitually leaves ham and cheese in its plastic wrapping in the fridge, b) does not fill the dishwasher to max-load capacity, c) does the laundry but never straightens the items before hanging them on the washing line, d) will only ever “cross that bridge when we get to it” on holidays, e) does not see the benefit of ‘Adiletten’ or ‘Hausschuhe’ and f) is gadget-illiterate, is a proper clash of cultures, too! I have no idea how I can bear it… (Must be love.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! Sounds like it must be! I’ve got very used to the German ways now – not sure I could ever go back to Irish men. You must have the patience of a saint 😉

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  4. I was always suspicious of Roombas. Plus we have rugs here and there so it would get stuck in lots of places … then again, we rarely vacuum under the sofa because it would be useful 😉
    It sounds like it would be easy to adapt to Manfredas’s habits … well, except for those blinds. At least he’s willing to compromise 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you have to put chairs on tables and rugs just confuse it – you’d have the place hoovered yourself 10 times over 😉 The blinds would have been a deal-breaker – I love my sleep!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Urlaub is serious! It comes from “erlauben”, which means that the vassal receives permission to go away from his lord for some weeks to take care of his own affairs.
    Every real man loves technical gadgets! All other persons have only wieners and are no more than Sitzpinkler, Frauenversteher and Schattenparker!
    Is Manfredas not from Lower Saxony? Than he is a Saxon and therefore half Anglo-Saxon!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. A, CH and South D was the core territory of the Celts. If his ancestors came from Austria, he isn’t Saxon but there is a good chance that he carry Celtic genes. So he isn’t half Anglo-Saxon, he is half Irish! :mrgreen:
            Perhaps this explains the laundry thing!?

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  6. Well clearly nobody bothered to inform MY German man that he’s supposed to love doing laundry. I get lumbered with it all!

    Jan does not have Badeschuhe either, but he does own sandals (think Birkenstocks but a different brand) for indoors that he’s had so long there are literal holes in sole!

    Laub means foliage so Laubchen would have very little to do with holidays… unless you’re planning on spending your time at the top of a tree?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I think we can probably think of better ways to spend our time! Though I’m sure there probably will be some trees about 🙂 Manfredas does his laundry, I do my laundry – good system 🙂 Except he does around 8 loads a week and I do one! At least you know what to get Jan for his next birthday!

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    1. He MUST have a pair of Badeschuhe at the very least! And yeah, spend around €500 if you really want a sparkling under-sofa 😉 I deliberately put a small piece of paper in the middle of the living room floor to see how long it would take him to suck it up – around 40 minutes. Might put him on and let him go before we leave for our Urlaub – two weeks might be enough for him to do the whole flat 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As a German man (although now I’m doubting :D) I unfortunately have to say “no” to all of your observations… anyway, fun read! Thanks and good luck living together 🙂

        Cheers,
        Fabian

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha, you make it sound like I’ll need it! Maybe Manfredas is more German than the average German?? 😉 Please tell me you at least wear socks with sandals once in a while – even just in the comfort of your own home. Your secret is safe with me… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

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