Saturday, September 1, 2012

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...

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