Monday, August 16, 2010

Ilbertz ain't the Only One

The longer I live here, the more horror I hear of (and live through) concerning German landlords. Obviously, as Americans only temporarily living overseas, the gross majority of us rent our houses and therefore, have a German landlord. From what I can gather, there are only two types of German landlords: 1. the extremely invasive German landlord OR 2. the invisible German landlord. While I would love to be the one and only who is blessed with the perfect combination of both, I am reminded daily that this is not the case.

Let's begin with 'the Invisible German Landlord,' (A phenomenon I only dream of encountering. Seeing as our landlord lives next door we are obviously cursed(?) with the alternative). The Invisible German Landlord is only present for two days of the entire time the American family is living in Germany (2+ years) - the day the contract is signed and the day the contract is ended. While this sounds nice to those with the Invasive landlord, I can also see the negative - no German networking and no family feel from the landlord and his family.

I tend to hear much more about 'the Invasive German Landlord,' mainly because they have stories to tell, but also because we live next to one! The invasive German landlord automatically assumes they are part of your life and part of your family, therefore treating you like family members. Barging into your house, telling you how to clean your shower, telling you to sweep your porch, instructing you how to punish your dogs/children all become a part of your everyday life. (Example: Saturday: Alex and I reading on the porch, the Ilbertz's begin setting up for a party. Enter bikini clad Axel, "Alex, help me carry the foosball table up for the party." No please, no 'favor,' just do it. )

Luckily, in our individual living situation, while we are cursed with the speedo wearing, chain-smoking, invasive German landlord (who IS extremely nice, but also just as anal), we are also blessed with his absolute angel of a wife, who succeeds in balancing him out, therefore making our living arrangement pretty close to perfect Their daughter, Jill, also comes over often to chat about the rough life of a 15 year old, to get help with her English, and to play with the dogs. So while we do get the weekly, 'you must do this,' from Mr. Speedo, we also get the, 'come have coffee/dinner/wine,' from Michaella (pronounced Mish-eye-ay-a). On Saturday, after the foosball demand, Alex and I decided, it's like living next door to your strict parents (although thankfully, my Father didn't prance around in his speedo).

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