housekeeping tips

Keeping our cool on July 4th…

For the past few days, Europe has been in the grips of a heat wave.  It’s been over 90 degrees for the past several days and will continue to be hot for at least the rest of the week.  When Bill and I lived in Germany last time, we simply grinned and bore the hot weather.  It didn’t last long and, besides, while air conditioners were available, we never heard about them because Facebook was less of a “thing” then.

Fast forward six years… It’s our first July in Germany since 2009.  My office in the house we currently live in is perfectly temperate most of the year, except for the summer.  In the morning, the sun beats down on my desk, making the room unbearably hot until the afternoon.  It’s still pretty hot after 1:00pm.  The windows near my desk do not have rolladens and I can’t easily hang curtains.   So today, Bill and I decided to hit the Toom Baumarkt in Herrenberg and see if we could score an air conditioner.

There were lots of people shopping today, and quite a few were looking for fans.  I didn’t see any Germans wanting an air conditioner.

This was my first time at Germany’s answer to Home Depot or Lowe’s.  I must admit I was impressed.  Aside from a large inventory of tools and items for the home, the Toom Baumarkt even had a cafe and a couple of wurst stands.

I love how civilized the Germans are when it comes to shopping.  Who needs a McDonald’s when you can have wurst and pommes washed down with beer?  They also have a public restroom, which is good to know they have.

We located the air conditioner we wanted to buy, but had to wait a bit for customer service.  Some guy was chatting with one of the workers over a fan that cost 24,99.  Until they were done speaking, the rest of us waiting didn’t exist.  I don’t necessarily think that is necessarily a bad thing; it’s just different from the way Americans tend to do things.

We settled on a machine capable of cooling down my big room, then searched for a window air lock. Unfortunately, we were not able to find one.  I checked and see that they are also mostly out.

We bought a floor model; hence no need for a box.

Our new AC…  on our way out of the parking lot, we had to wait for a biker to get directions from the guy ahead of us.

The new machine was easy to set up, though we had to improvise to block out the hot air.  This will have to do until I can get my hands on an air lock kit.

At least the towels block out a little sun.  

Bill hooked up the machine and the room is cooling down.  I’m thinking it was totally worth the 479 euros we paid, even if we don’t end up having to use it much.  I am amazed at how hot the hose is when I touch it and how quickly the room started to feel more comfortable.

Of course, we could have cooled down the old fashioned way…  Toom Baumarkt sells ice cream, too.

In other news, this morning Bill and I took our dogs on a three mile walk.  We were on our way back and were crossing a wheat field when a big Siamese cat suddenly hissed and jumped out of the wheat, scaring the bejesus out of me, Bill, and our dogs, Zane and Arran.  Both of them went nuts and made it even more challenging to get home to the relative coolness of the house.


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