It’s sooo coooold! Which I love. I drink endless tea and wear my camellia long underwear (they’re hot pink, but Lands End called them camellia) and my white hat trimmed with faux fur that makes me look like a little bear. Each room of our apartment has its own radiator, so we move from one to the other like we live in a spaceship. Every morning, I gauge how very cold it is on the basis of how much of the window has steamed up during the night. Yesterday, the whole window was covered in mist, higher than I could reach with my squeegee. The squeegee is necessary to prevent the growth of that most feared of German hobgoblins: Mold. If the water drips down the window and collects on the window sill, there will be no avoiding the Mold. So, like all responsible German housewives, I squeegee the Mold-succoring Waters of Night Breath off the window pane.
At the moment, Aaron’s youngest brother Micah is visiting. We knew he would return to us when he left after Thanksgiving. He and his college friends took a grand European tour. Unfortunately for them, Paris was closed when they got there due to strikes, but they loved Prague and Amsterdam. Then, this cold snap arrived, so the youngsters dashed back here to cozy Berlin as fast as their inadequate autumn coats allowed. I feel much indulgence for little brothers, having one of my very own. So it is in that spirit that I now regale you with the saga of living with a passel of 19 year olds.
First, Micah emailed to say he’d probably arrive on Tuesday…probably…or else Wednesday. A further email revealed that Micah would be bringing a friend with him. Night fell Tuesday with no sign of the travelers. I returned from my latest adventure Tuesday night just as Aaron was hanging up the phone with Micah. “They’re on their way. They’re somewhere in Berlin,” Aaron reported. I barely had time to hide the evidence of our slothful lifestyle before, five minutes later, the doorbell rang. “Somewhere in Berlin” turned out to mean the train station around the corner from our house.
Joyfully, we greeted Micah, his travelling companion Dia, and his other, surprise traveling companion Max. So, I sent the Koller boys on a field trip to the basement storage to haul up the extra mattress again. Thank goodness our previous guests were generous enough to leave the extra sheets and dishes we’d ordered them to bring for themselves. We passed a pleasant evening hearing the travelers’ stories of couch surfing and rambling through new cities. Aaron and I retired just as the teenagers prepared to check out the night life. We saw them again around sunset the next day, and that has become the pattern. Whatever food hadn’t been eaten when A and I went to bed is neatly consumed by the time we get up. The kids show themselves around 3 p.m., in time for twilight. I feel like such an old lady.