Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lightbulbs and Wives' Clubs

As many of you know, after we got married I moved into Fionn's former bachelor pad. When he arrived here in Germany there weren't too many options for housing but this place came up suddenly and he was lucky enough to snag it (since he says the other options were definitely not as nice). I'm so glad he did, because from the first time I visited I LOVED this apartment!

The year that he lived here before we met/got married he basically used two rooms-the bedroom and the bathroom and then occasionally the laundry room and kitchen. As far as bachelor pads go, it wasn't bad at all. Fionn's not a super messy person and most of the rooms were practically unused. There were no decorations, he didn't understand why you'd have a houseplant (what does it do?) and a kitchen with one pan, four plates, two bowls, and like 3 spoons seemed just fine. Of course, since I've been here I've girlied it up a bit with plants and picture frames and this very strange device called a fleece throw for the couch in the living room.

One thing about the apartment is that quite a few of the lightbulbs had burnt out. Which at first, seemed like no big deal. But one night while I squinted at a pasta label in the kitchen I noticed that there was only one light bulb left in the overhead. It was so dark we had to turn on the stove light just to see. The ceiling light in our bedroom had two lightbulbs left out of six. This week I was finally like, this is ridiculous. We have to buy light bulbs.

Haha little did I realize the adventure that would follow those words...

The kitchen lightbulbs were pretty simple. But when we busted out the step ladder and Fionn went to retrieve a lightbulb from our bedroom he paused.

"Uhh...what is this?"



Neither one of us had ever seen a lightbulb like that before, and furthermore we had no idea where to start. That's when we noticed that these funky lightbulbs were all over the house-in the living room, the dining room, the bathroom, the hallway...so obviously we needed to find out where we could get these weird things.

The first two tries were an epic fail. No sign of funky lightbulbs, and even the normal looking kitchen lightbulbs wouldn't fit. So I talked to my neighbors and my landlord, lightbulbs in hand and asked where I could find them. They all suggested the Baumarkt (which is like the German version of an Ace Hardware, except smaller. I started to compare it to Home Depot but that'd be like saying the Baumarkt was HD's dwarf cousin). I found it and spent at least 15 minutes in the lightbulb section. SO. MANY. OPTIONS. Furthermore, there was no exact match and they were €6 a pop! I didn't want to buy the wrong thing and then have to come back and muck through language barriers to be like, "Ich möchte...uh..this...returnen?" What is "to return" in German, anyway?

Anyways, in the end I took a chance and they miraculously worked out! I even bought myself a strawberry and a raspberry plant as a reward. When Fionn came home I flicked on the lights and said "We can see again!"

He laughed and looked around the well lit room. "Wow, looks like when I first moved in.."


Yesterday was really fun because I got invited out! There's a Wives' Club here and they have get together every month. Usually they invite the newcomers right away but I've been kind of hard to find apparently haha. We met at one of their houses and had hors d'oeuvres and drinks and just chatted and had fun. Everyone was so friendly and I had a good time talking with all of them. I even met a very rare specimen indeed-someone my own age, who doesn't have any kids, and also studied German abroad. I was like, is this real life? She was really cool and we talked most of the night, and we decided to host one of these parties together (you can sign up with another woman to host one).

All in all, it was a really good night. It was so nice to finally meet some people around here and they were all super nice. We had to go around and say our name and something about ourselves people didn't know. I mentioned that I play the fiddle and the harp, and afterward one of the wives asked if I'd be willing to play at a fundraiser coming up, and another asked if I would show her daughter the harp since she's interested in learning to play. Fun! :)

It was fun. I'm looking forward to the next meeting!

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