The man at the door looked nice. He was in his late 40s, had a bit of a beard, was soft spoken. He told me that he was from the ‘Wohnungsgenossenschaft Hamburg-Wandsbek von 1897’, one of my ‘Genossen’ so to speak. As he had passed by the house, he said, he had noticed that the apartment was occupied again. I nodded and smiled, about to thank him for his warm welcome. Then he said that he had noticed c-o-n-d-e-n-s-a-t-i-o-n on the lower part of the windows as he passed by, and had decided to call in. I was still smiling and nodding (but beginning to remember the several-pages-long official document I had signed before moving in, agreeing to ventilate, or: ‘lüften’, the apartment regularly and thoroughly). He continued by saying that he just wanted to remind me to ‘lüften’ regularly and vigorously. ‘So richtigen Durchzug’. I said, nodding and still smiling, that I fully understood and that we had been ‘lüften’ twice a day! So sorry, but that might not be enough, he interrupted. Also, you must open the windows completely, not just ‘auf Kippe stellen’ (tilted open), he added. And, you must keep them open for a while, he finished. I said that this was exactly what we were doing. Ah, he said, you know it
depends on the outside temperature: if it’s 5 degrees celsius, you have to open them 5 minutes; if it’s 6 degrees, you must open them 6 minutes and so on. (I didn’t ask him what to do if the temperature fell beyond zero.) – You don’t get into an argument with your ‘Genossen’, especially if they are given you friendly advice. So I thanked him nicely, he left, I closed the door, and Pat and I had the best and biggest laugh for a long time. It was so good that I consider calling him back asking him about how to separate the rubbish, the time one can and cannot have showers (in order not to disturb the neighbors), or to safe electricity (Germans buy €20 bulbs in order to save energy).
Apart from ring at the door for a bit of comic-relief this morning, we have become much more accustomed to the rings and the bells of the ICU in the UKE by now. We cannot wait to leave it all behind, to hear the words: ‘You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last. But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast…’ For a few minutes today, it looked like leaving was going to be delayed again, when Pádraig’s temperature, heart and respiratory rate, and oxygen levels all went a bit too high – but we were assured by the doctor, this was ‘normal’ and to be expected from time to time. – i guess, we will see tomorrow.
Two more friends arrived this afternoon from Dublin. They could not believe that such a big hospital could be so bare of visitors – except for about two dozen Turkish people, staying with one of their family and friend who is critically ill. At the moment, I think Pádraig is getting the best of two worlds: German health resources, technology, and care – and Irish family, friends, and visitors. Hearing and seeing all his friends here in Hamburg, telling him how much they all want him to get better, sharing their believe with him that his day of recovery will come soon, not giving up, persevere, being stubborn – all that will make him pull through these difficult times.
His friends also are continuing to organize some great events: at the upcoming table quiz in Na Fianna GAA club, the organizers will launch a campaign for Pádraig in connection with the Women’s Marathon (check it out on http://www.CaringforPadraig.org). Snámh Phádraig got some coverage in the Evening Herald tonight (full article here).
Today’s German Music Tip
D-Bo, Durchzug (2013). Never heard of him before – found it when I looked for instructions to create a draft (Durchzug) in our apartment:) Good for driving and dancing.
Open windows, fresh air, Durchzug
Condensation, anything getting stale
The German word/phrase/verse of the day