Donnerstag, 22. Mai 2008


Here's one of those oxymorons you can find in all cultures. If you've read previous posts, you know that Germans seem to think that any exposure outside will cause you to get sick, whether it be a bare neck, bare legs, or not wearing house shoes inside.

However, Germans are fans of saying that the air is "fat" (I think that's our equivalent of "stuffy") and the window needs to be opened. They firmly believe that windows are meant to be open. All the time--regardless of bugs, cold air, or noises from outside. In the middle of winter, I would go into the -10 degree bathroom (where the window had been left open all night) and wish that I was dead instead of having to shower when it was so cold. (Forget about shaving, you're only taking goose bumps off with the hair.)

Every time I complain to someone that I didn't sleep well, they say, "You need to sleep with your window open." Even though they think that being cold will immediately make you sick, they suggest being in the cold for 8 hours every night. How does that make sense? I have yet to understand. I finally tried it one night and was so disturbed by the sound of the tram going by, I closed it again.

Fortunately, their nifty German engineering kicks in to support this need to have the window open. Every window has the ability to swing open or be tilted so only the top is open. Check out this video.

Also, there are these nifty things called "Rollos" that roll down over the outsides of the windows to secure them when people go out of town or if they simply want to be more secure. (No, I don't have one. I wish I did sometimes, but I think my problem with lights/noise outside would be solved enough if I just got some real curtains, not the lacy one I've shoved in the window.) I took these pictures at a friend's house.

Nice and sunshiny outside:

The rollo can be let down so there are still holes letting in some sunlight:

Or all the way down, which effectively blocks out all light:

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