Sorry Sir, I’ll get you some that is.”
Good evening to you all on this fine evening, I trust that all is well wherever you may be in the World. Currently I’m sitting in the garden soaking in two days of freedom, the sun slowly setting to my left behind the house, the Basilika Göβweinstein only a hundred yards to my right. As you can see from the linked image the architecture of the basilica is rather grand and only the other day I saw one lucky couple emerge from it having just tied the knot (pretty classy!). The only gripe against it would be the church bells. They make a lovely sound, don’t get me wrong, but having them wake me up occasionally at 6am can be a bit frustrating!
Just briefly before I launch into my spiel about this week’s events, I’d briefly like to send out a big thanks for all the comments on the blog I’ve received recently. Thank you firstly Geoff for the grammatical lesson concerning “Grüβ Gott,” I’ve just written a note of the full form and memorised it! Cheers also Jack Levent for enlightening me about regionale and überregionale phrases (it seems like I’ve got lots to learn ;)), I’m loving your blog at the moment as well. A big thanks for the messages from Seth and my dad, good to hear from you all. Finally thanks to my mum for the letter and Grace for being my agony aunt this past week :).
So. Back to the matter at hand. You may be wondering from the above why exactly I’m not wearing my shiniest black shoes, smart trousers and a crisply ironed shirt, but rather some alte Klamotten (old rags), well read on and you will find out! It appears that I’ve misled you somewhat, but to be fair I wasn’t in the know myself until Monday. It transpires that the title ‘waiter’ is not that apt as it doesn’t cover all that I’ve been doing at the hotel, oh no! I believe that the more appropriate term would be ‘hotel employee,’ and here’s why.
I’d woken up at the normal time (10am) on Monday, headed to the hotel to find a rather worried looking Bernd and Heike and then peeped outside to see the cause of their anguish. As you may be able to discern from the photos above, we had a roof / gutter problem, to be more precise a big hole in the roof / gutter kind of problem! Knowing that I was the odd job / practical kind of guy, Bernd told me to put on some old clothes and to be prepared to be outside all day. So, the girls had the task of running the hotel for the day whilst Bernd, Stefan, Christian, myself, and a local builder (I cannot understand a word of what he says due to his dialect) called Andreas would be making a herculean effort to fix the hole in just one day. It was that day when I was first hit with that notion of ‘culture shock.’ To elaborate: Back in England when there’s a problem of this kind, it’d be routine to first call the builders, wait for a few days for them to arrive, wait further for them to complete the job, (occasionally) get ripped off, and everybody’s happy. Over in Germany however it was the complete antithesis!
In record time (I’d say by 12) we’d managed to erect the Gerust (scaffolding), it was like they’d practised putting up scaffolding religiously for the Olympics. I felt a bit out of depth when I tried being all macho and carrying 4 pieces of scaffolding at once like the other guys, but I was quickly found out and resorted to taking two at once (I’m still growing!) The customers who were having their lunch outside looked on as if it were the West End or a German work-out video and we didn’t fail to please. For the next few hours we were hammering away the dead wood and damaged tiles / gutter, the warning Pass auf! (look out!) ringing through the air every time something fell to the ground. I’d had to fetch 40 new tiles from behind a barn using a wheelbarrow with a flat tire, which made it incredibly challenging. People looked at me struggling with this as if I was some poor 11 year old girl with a muscle deficiency. Anyway, I’d managed to transport the tiles to the hotel, when once we’d finished clearing away the deadwood we began placing in the new tiles. We all had loads of fun in between climbing the scaffolding as if we were on the show “Gladiators” and showing off to everybody and to top everything off we were regularly supplied with food and drink. By 6 o’clock we’d finished the fixing and for the next 2 hours we spent clearing away (sweeping constantly) and de erecting the scaffolding. Absolutely exhausted, we all sat around outside to be served a lovely hot dinner with a Keller beer each. JOB WELL DONE.
The next day I thought that normal service would resume, but how wrong was I once again! In fact on both the Tuesday and the Wednesday I didn’t feature in the restaurant at all, instead I was helping Bernd’s dad who’s called Lutz to furnish a hotel room. For me, a humble student who has spent most of his life studying hard and avoiding hard graft (it’s quite normal in England!), this was yet another new experience. Lutz is a great guy, straight to the point, a tad stern but fun to be with, a bit like my granddad was, and it was a pretty fun day! We constructed two wardrobes, a bed, three cabinets and a shelf over two days. Lutz had pointed to the pliers and said Zange (which means pliers) so many times that last night I had a nightmare that a massive plier was chasing me. Anyway, I’m now fully equipped and qualified as a professional builder so I’ve got no worries when it comes to moving into my own house (Grace you should take note as you’ll be moving in one day). As a thank you Lutz took me out for dinner in this outdoors food bar which had an amazing view, although to be honest his top of the range Mercedes was just that bit more impressive :).
Bernd informed me yesterday that this coming weekend will be the busiest of the year, so I’m looking forward to that (although not the embarrassing mistakes I’m likely to make). I will make the most of my freedom tomorrow, finalise with Grace when she’s coming to visit, so I’ve got no complaints. I’ve heard that there’s been a heatwave back in England?! At the tail end of September?! Wahnsinn! (crazy!) as our German friends would say.
Take it easy everybody, I hope that University / work / life is going well!