It’s been a little more than a week since I arrived back in Germany, and I’ve officially begun my new job as a German Hausfrau. Hausfrau, or housewife, might not sound like a very glamorous or rewarding new position, but I have to admit that I’m rather enjoying it so far. It has a lot of perks. I get to sleep in every day, watch movies in the middle of the day if I want, and go shopping for food while everyone else is slaving away in the office. The only downsides are tasks like scrubbing the toilet and removing limescale, but my mother has introduced me to the wonders of vinegar so I can cope. The real challenge at the moment is trying to “keep up” a residence with no kitchen and boxes (i.e. mess) everywhere. But I think I’m maintaining some semblance of order vacuuming like a madwoman and washing dishes in the bathroom sink. Yes, the bathroom sink. I used to think doing all our dishes by hand at the kitchen sink was time-consuming, but that was positively dreamy compared to washing them individually in a bathroom sink. Still, it works and it means I’ll appreciate a kitchen even more once we have one. And a dishwasher – gasp – now that would really tickle me pink.
I thought I’d share a few photos of the domestic domain I now rule. I know many people are dumb-founded when I describe the “no kitchen” situation, so I thought it might help to include a couple of photos showing what our current set-up looks like:
With the fridge, the kettle and the microwave we’re getting by. I’m not a great cook, anyway, so it’s not as if we’re used to having fancy-pants meals every night, but it will be nice to have a stove and an oven and a kitchen sink again at some point. And I do have ambitions that my new role as a Hausfrau will inspire me to want to cook more. Honestly!
The bathroom sink above is where I do the dishes. Yeah, it sounds kind of gross but keep in mind that our toilet is separate from our bathroom, so it’s not too bad.
And I know many of you are curious what our “sitting shower” looks like:
Thankfully, the Mr. managed to buy the equipment to make it into a “real” shower and it works great. The floor gets a little wet so we’re debating whether to get some sort of barrier around the side facing the sink so it’s more contained, but mopping up afterward also works pretty well.
I also had my first communal task to complete for the house. As is usually the case in Germany, all parties in the house have to share tasks such as sweeping the walkways, taking out the garbage, and in the wintertime, clearing away snow and ice. My job this past week was to sweep the walkway to the door, as well as the back pavement behind the house. It was a relatively cool day, but it still took me more than an hour to clear away all the dead leaves and pine needles and it made me kind of sweaty and gross, to be honest. It was really the pine needles that made the job so arduous as we have very large pine trees that seem to shed copious amounts of needles. I always thought evergreen trees were less hassle than deciduous ones because they don’t lose their needles in the same way. Silly me.
In addition to upkeep both inside and out, I’m also familiarizing myself with the new neighborhood grocery store I shall be visiting on a regular basis. It’s fairly well-stocked, and I took my handy Ikea shopping trolley there a few days ago and bought quite a few things.
At the grocery store, I was proud of myself for understanding that the cashier wanted to know if I had a Euro so she’d have to make less change. Ah, it’s the little things that bring joy….The good news is that although I’ll miss our shopping trips to Toom with the car, I think this smaller store will cover all the bases until opportunities arise when we’ve either rented a car or have signed-up for car-sharing and can go to a bigger supermarket. And they still have a pretty awesome chocolate section despite the limited size, which is most important of all. I’ve also discovered a new favorite treat:
You can choose between, 40, 60 or 75% cocoa content. I went for the 75%, and it was de-lish. The higher the cocoa content, usually the safer it is around the Mr., too. He prefers milk chocolate, so I cleverly purchase things he won’t like. Does that make me an evil German Hausfrau?