Skip to main content

German Party Rules

An Irish friend of mine was telling me recently that she had to call the cops because of her neighbour's loud party next door. Well not really, it wasn't so much the noise as the fact that they were out on the street at this stage, mashing broken glass, fists and hurleys into one another. Eventually the cops came, but it took a while as there was probably only one car covering every fight in the west of Ireland.
In Germany, of course, things are a little different. So when my 17 year old angel had a barbecue the other night that ended up with over 20 teenagers making noise on a balcony, the police were immediately banging the door down by midnight. Of course I was the one who got the letter from the rental agency telling me that I had been there, that I was too loud and blah blah, and not to do anything like this again.
But that's what happens when you're Irish in another country. People just assume that you are a reckless partying alcoholic.
For those who don't know me or my origins though, I'm beginning to look like a German. I've reverted to practical flat soled shoes, no make up and a rain coat, and I travel by means of bicycle with a basket on it.
German Party Animals Drinking Beer

So even though it wasn't me who got sick out of the hall window on the fourth floor and despite not even knowing enough people to throw even a dinner party, I have now ruined my otherwise flat soled reputation and have to go around the place wearing my glasses and trying to look glum.
But it's not all bad. Good things happen despite bureaucracy. For example, Karlsruhe runs a car sharing system. You join it and then whenever you need a car, be it big or small, you can pick one up for tuppence, and for hours days or weeks, depending upon your need. Now I think that's pretty cool, so I headed over to their office having looked it up online. Being German, the deal is that you have to go there in person and bring your completed application form along with a valid passport, and being a good expat, that's just what I did. Only problem was that because I'm not German they need some other documents, so it'll just have to wait until I have another weekday morning off work, seeing as German retailers et al only open when everyone is at work.
See - I'm starting to give out, which means I must be settling in. And bizarre scenes, such as naked sunbathers, waiting staff hurling abuse at customers and men wearing white socks, shorts and sandals, are all just starting to seem normal. I have even stopped shrugging my shoulders when I hear about people going to bed at 9.30pm.
Which reminds me, it's after 11pm now, and the bakery only opens until 11am on a Sunday, just that time when people are beginning to get out of bed. So I better turn in for the night, early rush for those pretzls in the morning...


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Letter to a Boy, who Died aged 18, by Suicide

Dear Tiernan,
I shouldn’t be writing you this letter. I should be hearing about you from my son, your childhood best friend. It should be about some course you are doing, or a plan that you all have to meet up. But that’s all gone. Now there’s just that awful day that you went missing. The day a boy was seen jumping off the bridge. Next time I saw you, you were in a coffin, your body, bashed up by the waves; bruised, broken, dead. The boy who told me ‘be nice to nerds, you’ll be working for them some day.’ The boy who I watched grow up, who I held great faith in. Dead at 18. And what’s left? The rest of us. Your inconsolable friend, his sister and his mother, travelling back to the West of Ireland for your funeral. Sitting in your home. Going into your bedroom and picking up your things. Yesterday this was your camera, these were your pyjama bottoms, that was your sketchbook. Now they feel strange to the touch. Relicts. And we, who never shut up, are silent. There are no words for ou…

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

The MoMa, a Beggar and my Limp

There’s a woman who walks up and down the streets around West 82nd and Amsterdam Avenue asking people if they’ll give her a dollar. I’d put her around 80. Small, wiry, bent, wispy hair. Brittle bird legs in black tights, but still a follower of fashion in a knit skirt with a tartan pattern, more the kind of skirt you might see on a 20-year-old Asian student. Pale pink lipstick, and a crimson red blouse topped with a cream overcoat despite the muggy August New York heat. I wonder what she does with the money she collects. She doesn’t look like she eats anything, can’t tell if she drinks. She’s sober when she pushes her trolley bag up and down 82nd, asking ‘do you have a dollar for me?’ I don’t give her one. I keep my dollars for the MoMa. My feet are killing me after walking into the city, but I’m scared of the subway. I did make a weak attempt, but have no idea what they mean by uptown and downtown. Both of these expressions mean the same thing where I come from: Uptown – as in, I’m…