The kitchen leak that wouldn’t end is now a week behind us. The friend/subletter/possible lover (at some point he has told us all three) of the guy upstairs finally admitted – after being pressed by the Hausverwalter (building super) and the owners of our apartment -that maybe he forgot to turn the water pump off? but, like, how was he supposed to know about it?
I’m an Amerikanerin and even I knew about the water pump. To be fair, I lived in an apartment with a retro-fitted shower in France. On the other hand, many many old buildings all over Europe (ours is from the 1880s) are outfitted with these things. We got lucky. Our apartment was one of the few in the building to be renovated with a real, tiled shower.
The pictures of the kitchen were so awful, that the owners made the trip up from Bayern just to see it with their own eyes. Turns out, the damage isn’t nearly as bad as I thought and they just want to paint. Just a weekend trip away from Berlin, not weeks or, as I feared, a new apartment. Perhaps that last bit was irrational, but at the time the oven didn’t work and Shoshana will only eat vegetables that have been roasted with olive oil. She’s a very discerning toddler. The lights didn’t work either and it smelled like my Gramma’s basement. The basement that occasionally flooded, but she never went down there so why should she care? A new light bulb and letting the security sensor in the oven have time to dry out fixed everything. Shoshana can have her sweet potato fries and roasted brakkies (broccoli) and all is well again.
At least until our residency meeting tomorrow morning at 7:00. Yes, that’s right. We figure if we’re the first family the Beamter meets in the morning than at least we’ll know that we deserve their ire*.
*It took me a while to come up with a polite word to describe the attitude one usually meets with when dealing with German bureaucracy.