Tag Archives: German kitchens

Hermann makes a woman of me

I’ve had my first German sexual encounter. I think. As with most things, it wasn’t what I was expecting and I’m not even sure it was a sexual encounter. At least, I know it wasn’t for me anyway…

So I’m sitting in my room, working away on my laptop and dressed in my (very nice, mostly cream) interview dress. Hermann knocks at the door. When I open it, he’s standing there looking a bit dishevelled and out of breath. He draws a line with his finger from his throat down to his crotch, which I take to mean that he’s had some sort of major operation. (Now I think he may have been pointing at something else entirely.)

He asks me to help him in the kitchen, so I dutifully trot along after him. When we get there, I see that he’s emptied the fridge and now wants me to clean it. Sigh. He pulls out an apron and puts it on me, fastening it with a chain… Then I get my instructions on how to clean a fridge, German-style.

So, I’m bent over with my head in the fridge; Hermann has placed himself on a seat right behind me. Suddenly, I hear cries of:

JA, JA, JAWOHL! OH, WUNDERBAR, WUNDERBAR. JA JA!

coming from the general direction of my ass.

Hermie: Wait, what is this?

Me: Umm, it looks like a bit of card stuck to the back of the fridge.

Hermie: NEIN.

Me: (scrubbing at it ineffectually) Maybe we can put some hot water on it and let it soak for a while…

Hermie: NEIN!

So he grabs a knife, bends over my back and starts attacking the offending bit of card like a man possessed. For someone who didn’t have the strength to wipe down the rest of the fridge, he’s making up for it now, grunting and working up a sweat as he hacks at the card, his considerable girth finding repose on my nice-interview-dress-clad behind.

JA JA! DAS IST WUNDERBAR! JAWOHL! JAWOHL!

Close encounters of the fridge kind
Close encounters of the fridge kind

Smelling of industrial strength cleaner and old man sweat, I retired to my room, only to be disturbed again a few minutes later. Hermann needed my help printing something. When I managed to do it, he kissed me on my cheek. I guess this is the German version of snuggling.

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned, I was in my nice interview dress because, yes, you guessed it, I had interviews. The first was with a German man and I was in and out in 15 minutes flat. The second was with an English woman and I was there for almost two hours. We bonded over Hermann and his dish towels in the first five minutes (she’d had a similar experience when she first arrived) and got on like a house on fire after that.

Me: So, when do you think you’ll let me know?

Sally: Oh no, we definitely have work for you! 

And she gave me a group there and then. Later that day, I got an email from the other school, saying that they also have a group for me. It’s not much, but it’s a start – and a big relief to know that I am hirable in Deutschland. So I went and celebrated with a cup of tea in a Mercedes-Benz showroom – as you do.

All in all, it’s been quite the week. JAWOHL!

 

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…