Saturday, March 26, 2016

The attic

Our apartment is on the top floor of the building. Or, at least, it was the top floor. Now there are men building an apartment into the attic above us. This makes it harder to pretend that I live in a penthouse.

There are not a lot of people who want to move into a fourth-floor walk up. And when you consider that the European fourth floor is actually the American fifth floor (the ground floor is 0 not 1), there are even fewer interested. Which is probably why this apartment was available in the first place.

 It only takes a week or so to build of those buns of steel and not be out of breath when you reach the front door. And the view from our balcony over the rooftops of the city is pretty fantastic. I can also look down into the windows of the apartments across the street without other people seeing up into ours (at least I think so, but I should probably be careful).  The other thing that's great about the top floor is that there is no one above us. No chairs scraping, feet pounding, vacuums buzzing, feet tap dancing (hey, it's possible), etc. It's just an empty room, and we can pile some of our extra junk in front of the door. That's all about to change.

Now, starting at 7:30 every morning, workers are hammering, sawing, possibly sledge hammering away at our peace and quiet. The attic needs some work and that work is happening right above my head. All this construction is needed since there's no electricity up there, only a few walls and no plumbing. Maybe someone lived in the attic before but now it's just the bats and the ghosts. I know because I went up and looked. The bats were polite enough to hide when I came in.

It makes me wonder about the story of our building, if those walls could talk, as the saying goes. The place was originally built in 1919 and rebuilt in 1953. I don't know how much was destroyed by bombs in World War II, but I would imagine those walls were hurting. And then, what? Maybe an occasional post-war attic squatter and then decades of quiet, interrupted only by the flutter of bat wings. Until now, when floors are being laid and plumbing installed. If those walls could talk I imagine they'd be pretty angry about losing their quiet, and possibly their bats.

So if you are looking for an apartment in Hannover in a few months, remember that it's a real pain to live on the fifth floor with no elevator. Remember that there could possibly be ghosts. Remember that nobody wants to live above weird American neighbors who sometimes play loud music. Remember that there are plenty of other places to live. You can't blame me for trying. The building can have only one penthouse, after all.

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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.