mercoledì, marzo 04, 2015

Meeting my match

First of all, readers, if you haven't given me up for dead: some  news. I'm in love with Cologne. Our second day here was the local Carnival parade, and we got pelted with bagfuls of candy while everybody dressed up, like some awesome version of Halloween where the city turns into a street party instead of children having to walk door to door like suckers, or even worse what I hear they do these days - no trick or treating and having inside-parties instead. More about me loving Cologne later.

What is striking me as particularly interesting is how painless everything has been so far when Germans have been endlessly insisting to us how completely and inevitably painful everything was going to be. Godzilla is going to a very nice daycare, though there are "no" daycare places (granted I did apply for it almost a year ago). He was accepted at four different and awesome forest kindergartens (granted I did apply to nine, and most of them a couple of years ago), though there are "no" kindergarten places. We seem to have found a really lovely permanent apartment we are signing for tonight, though there are "no" apartments to be found, and agencies have been gagging to get us into others (granted German law is about to change to make agency fees payable by landlords instead of tenants, and new rent controls are coming in, in three weeks, and we are willing to take it up the ass by taking a place now, before the lease on our temporary place runs out).

I am facing three possibilities:

1. We are almost frighteningly lucky and indebted to fate
2. Everything we have managed so far is on the cusp of falling through at the last moment

The F-word, who has lived here in the past and is amused at how I've been girding myself up for Belgian-level bureaucratic insanity that has not yet come, vouches for the third. He says that's why everything is so good here - the sheer weight of complaints waiting behind fragile dams, flooding through when anything slips even slightly below standard. And yes. Everything is good here. Except the weather, and even that has been a refreshing change from 40 degree days and sun that can kill you. All the same, I'm leaning toward two, myself. Three years in Belgium - basically I take nothing for granted anymore until I'm holding it in my hand. I'll let you know what happens.

Of course, dear readers, if you have followed any part of the last however many years of this blog, you will have some notion that if the F-word is correct, and what is happening now is evidence of Germans complaining SO FUCKING MUCH, it makes me love the place even more, because if complaining is the hallmark of this culture, then this culture has the same hallmark as my soul. 

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