Sunday, June 15, 2008

In The Land Of The Hausfrau

I made it! Here I am in the Land Of The Hausfrau, the Mecca for Housewives: Good old Germany.

I am not sure whether the world is aware of this little fact or not, but they make the best Hausfraus in the world here. If you don't believe me, ask one! She'll tell you herself.

I started my career as a Housewife here in Germany and I cried "uncle". They must have a secret school here somewhere where the Hausfrau is trained, perhaps deep in the Black Forest, or tucked away on an island in the North Sea, or maybe they are just born that way.

It was the women after all who cleaned up after The Great Big Mess their men made while playing their war games. It is not something that we really give much thought to; ask an American and they will tell you that it was the Americans who "rebuilt" Germany through financial aid.

But a dollar bill won't get up and clear a pile of rubble, and the German men were either dead or being held prisoners of war, so it was up to the women. They called them "Trümmerfrauen" in English, rubble women, who took on the chore of moving the mountains of ruins, salvaging that what could still be used and then taking out the trash.

The weaker sex, my foot! I suspect that if one took a closer look at what went on after most any war in history, we would see something along the same lines... women cleaning up an making do and just generally holding things together.


PS: If you are wondering why I am sitting around blogging in Germany, it is due to another perhaps little known fact about Germany... Periodic lousy weather in the summer. It's raining and DH doesn't get here until Thursday. You may be hearing a lot from me in the next few days.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Busted for Biking

I have to come clean. I am somewhat of a bad-ass biker chick and last night I got busted for it. Caught red-handed, guilty as charged, I was a menace to society and the long arm of the law reached out and put a stop to it.

You can all sleep better at night knowing that I will not be riding my pink 1-speed cruiser with a basket in front but NO light, within a 500 yard radius of my house, at night, any longer! If you can't do the time, don't do the crime! That's my motto now!

I don't know what I was thinking when I backed my bicycle out of the garage! Our beagle had gone into THE BIG FIELD and was refusing to come out, so while my son and his friend tromped through the field with a flashlight, I came up with the crazy idea to bike to the far corner in order to prevent her from running out into traffic. The second part of my evil plan was to use my "angry voice" to scold Beagle thereby causing her to seek out the safety of the two boys rather than incurring my wrath.

It worked too! And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those... police who saw the whole thing. (You thought I was going to say "kids", didn't you!)

Yup, I was making my getaway, pedaling my pink bike up to speeds that must have topped 1 mph (my ride goes much faster, but I was riding on dirt in the dark so I didn't want to get too crazy) when I heard a car approaching, slowly, and a lot of barking from what sounded like a very large dog.

I have to admit that I got a little nervous given that I was all by myself on a dark road with nothing but fields on either side, and I hadn't quite completely assimilated my budding criminal mind into my former, rather innocent one. And yes, when I heard the car pull onto the shoulder behind me, like it was following me, my first reaction was fear for my own safety rather than concern for the well being of society, and the inevitable run-in with the law my new life of crime would bring; I pedaled faster and tried to get even further off the road.

It wasn't until I hear the booming voice over the loudspeaker telling me to STOP that I realized that... I was being pulled over!!?? And it wasn't until the officer stepped out of his car and started yelling at me that I realized that, no, really, I was being pulled over. I still wasn't quite sure for what though... And call me slow, thick or just plain dumb, but I was rather stunned that my aforementioned evasive behavior was being interpreted by the large man yelling at me and pointing the flashlight into my face as an attempt to "run from the law".

Boy am I lucky that my crime spree hadn't yet gone out over the wire so that none of the TV Networks' helicopters had had a change to arrive. I mean, when I make the 6:00 news for running from the law, I would really prefer it not to be on a pink one-speed bike with a basket in front but NO LIGHT!

And call me uninformed, but I really was not aware of how serious a problem "night riders" had become in our community, but they must be, because the officer interrogated me for a good 15 minutes, taking down my full name, address, driver's license number (which he then ran ran a check on, apparently "night riders" also seem to play fast and loose with the truth). Let me see, he also wanted to know whether I had ever gotten a ticket or been arrested, quizzed me on the names of the streets in the neighborhood, and then when I failed to name a small side street asked me: What about "Dandelion"? There's also a Dandelion! It was more of an accusation, really. My sincere apologies to Dandelion.

Then he started asking me if I had just moved here from blah blah blah (never heard of it). Then I had to repeat my driver's license number again which he repeated into his Walkie-Talkie thing. By this time, reinforcements had arrived and a second officer appeared and I felt about one inch tall, ashamed of the hardened criminal I had become.

Finally, the person on the other end of the Walkie-Talkie said something, and I guess it meant that I was a first-time offender because they finally let me go...but told me in no-uncertain terms that I was to walk my bike home. So I pushed my pink bike the rest of the 50 yards until the end of the field, past the 3 houses that make up a block, crossed the street and parked my bike on our front porch.

Such was the impression left on me that I will never, ever again ride my pink bike in this neighborhood, day or night. In fact, I really don't want to leave the house at all anymore, except that I am going to Europe tomorrow so I have to catch a plane.

I wonder if they are going to alert Interpol?


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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Meet Schnappi

This is in German, but it is so cute I had to share it. Doesn't really matter if you understand German or not.


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