Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rats, and stairs

There is a dead rat in our basement. At least I think he's dead by now. And he's not the first.

Back in November, I went away for two nights with the girls soccer team for their tournament. While I was gone, Brian decided to clean our storage room in the basement. We keep our bikes in there, some tools, suitcases, and clothes that are not in season. In a bag of my summer clothes, Brian found a dead rat. It had eaten through some of my summer dresses, pooped, and then went ahead and died in there. Brian is a champion - he resisted the urge to vomit, threw the rat in the dumpster, and cleaned up as best he could.
Our downstairs neighbor, the one who complained to the landlady that we were doing laundry too early in the morning, was in the basement while all of this was going on. In an attempt not to act more awkward with us than he already had by complaining, he struck up a conversation and asked Brian what was going on. "Oh, we don't have any rats here," he said. The small corpse in the dumpster would say otherwise.

Then just before Christmas, everyone in the building got a letter from our landlady. From what I could understand by reading it and using Google Translate, someone (gasp) had reported seeing a rat in the basement. The letter explained that there would now be rat poison in the basement, and that we shouldn't let kids or pets go down there. We should especially not store any bags full of recycling in the basement, since apparently the rats were after that and not just my sundresses.

So by now the rat poison must have worked. But whose job is it to search for the dead rat? Not ours. Brian has done his share of rat undertaking.

I will add this to the list of reasons it is good to live on the top floor. They are:
1. Who needs a stairmaster when you have real stairs? Involuntary exercise is the best kind.
2. The sun shines in better than on the lower floors.
3. There is no one above us to make noise in the morning, like we apparently do to our neighbors.
4. The pizza delivery guy really earns his tip.
5. Less street noise.
6. No robber is going to hike all the way up to our apartment and then carry our stolen stuff all the way down again.
7. Rats are very unlikely to climb the flights up to our place, especially if the recycling and clothes that they want are in the basement.

I will let you know if I see anymore rats or other rodents down there, dead or otherwise. And if one of them manages to hike up to the fifth floor, I might reward him with a sundress to chew on while I take him downstairs to visit the neighbors.

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.