The Water Cock

Well, I’m off to buy a faucet so I guess I really live here now! Although I do hope that an inability to communicate about said faucet doesn’t get me kicked out of the country: says that faucet=wasserhahn=water cock, and I didn’t take it any further than that. I’ll report back.

Hahahaha, yeah, so… no. That didn’t work at all. I was offered directions to the hardware store from the knife-store man, offered various pipe fittings from the harware store, got a droll look from the stylists at the fancy wallpaper store, and a received a referral to the ice cream shop from the nice people at the housewares store (they wanted to help solve SOME problem, and they settled on my lack-of-ice-cream problem.) Ah, well, fuck it. Guess I’m going back to IKEA.

Oh, did I mention that I am going to start a Girl Scout troupe in Hamburg so that I can get my Lived-Through-A-Trip-To-IKEA-Mere-Hours-After-Disembarking-From-A-15-Hour-Flight badge? The German cracked me up on this one, not only because he seriously overestimates my capacity to keep up with him but because the look on his face is priceless when he says, in the car on the way home after having acquired a full kitchen*, “Oh, my father would be so angry if he knew that I took you to IKEA on the first day without letting you rest.” Have I mentioned how much I love The German, Sr.? He’s right every time, but there’s something delicious about doing small stupid things to test his maxims. It always makes me feel like a giggling kid: laughing at myself because the adults were right, again.
(I think we miiiiiight be having a bit of a mid-life issue here if we think that slightly overdoing it while choosing housewares is the thing that makes us feel youthful. Christ.)

*in case you’re not intimately familiar with the soul-sucker that is the IKEA department store, the problem is not the harsh overhead lighting, or the deliberate maze, it’s the volume of choices you have to make. You decide what color, what varnish, what height, what style, how many, what price range, clear or translucent, lit or not, shelves or drawers, etc. etc. The deciding is the hardest part, but the killer is that the deciding is also the first part. You look at all of the options, make all the decisions, then write up your order, look up where all the bits are stocked, find them, load them onto a cart, pay for them, arrange transport and installation, and go right back to the beginning if you change your mind at any step. The system works very, very well, and things are stocked where they should be; overall IKEA does a tremendous job of showing you that IKEA is better organized than you are. The Germans love it. LOVE IT.

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