For the last three months, LSH and I have been washing our clothes and dishes in the bathtub.
At first it felt kind of rustic. I imagined myself in a bonnet, whistling as I wrung out a sopping pair of jeans.
But the glamor faded faster than the stains.
“This moving-apartment-melarky isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” I grumbled as I watched LSH arched like a cat over the bathtub.
“This moving-apartment mel…”
But I didn’t finish because LSH likes to listen to podcasts as he scrubs the saucepan ferociously with a scouring pad.
I took to writing poems instead. Some are deeply personal accounts of ringing internet providers and power companies. Others chronicle the 76 times we traipsed between our old and new apartment with suitcases full of books we will never read. A select few are odes to the hot plate we borrowed from a friend.
Poetry can help but it is no replacement for the Internet, and so I kept calling 02. Months later, a young man from Bavaria arrived at our door.
He loooked exhausted.
It was hot that day, and there are 92 steps up to our apartment.
I should have mentioned that in one of my poems. Pathos is one of literature’s greatest powers.
“I’m not from around here,” he said, pausing to catch his breath.
“I know,” I said. “You’re from Bavaria. You sound like my relatives.”
“They’re so short-staffed in Berlin, they had to bring us up.”
Demand for basic digital infrastructure is high in the German capital.
But if you want something done, ask a Bavarian.
Within fifteen minutes, he had re-connected us to the world.
I didn’t think he wanted me to hug him though, so instead I asked: “Can I give you a Lindt bunny as a thank you?”
“Would you like a Lindt bunny? As a token of my appreciation?”
“I don’t really like sweet things,” he said, his eyes widening in fright as he discovered the army of chocolate bunnies on the table behind me.
Let me explain.
A while back, I was having a tough day. In desperate need of attention, I fired off a flurry of self-pitying messages to LSH on Whatsapp.
He sent the right kind of emoji back and so I thought the matter was resolved. I was working a late shift and when I got back home around 1 am, I tiptoed into the bedroom, where LSH was in a sleepy stupor.
“Katzi,” he murmured. “I think I left the radiator in the living room on. Would you mind turning it off?”
Ugh, fine, I thought to myself. But does he remember what a tough day I’ve had? How emotionally exhausted I am?
I flung open the living room door and made a beeline for the raditator.
And then I saw them.
An army of bunnies. Lined up as if for a school photograph. Flanked by nougat eggs.
The radiator was off.
“You said you had a tough day,” LSH murmured as I burst back into the bedroom.
“How did you…. ”
“They were on special offer. Got some fierce weird looks on the S-Bahn though. The big one comes in a transparent box with a handle.”
There were always many reasons to marry LSH, but this is now officially in my top three.
Anyway, all that was a few weeks ago. Since then, even without the help of my Bavarian hero, my army has shrunk dramatically.
Now it’s only “Big Berta” who remains standing. Her bell is so loud that we used it to entertain the cat we recently babysat.
Berta watches us as we wash our clothes, and cook yet another batch of tortelli on the hotplate. She was there when the hat stand was delivered and when LSH heroically proved his masculinity by bleeding the radiator. She will possibly still be there when our kitchen is delivered.
She is a reminder, in more ways than one, that good things come to those who wait.