Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My Boyfriend's Landlords

I just had to write a post about my boyfriend's landlords here in Germany, and I know that his experience isn't a completely isolated case. Another soldier friend of mine also has a great relationship with his German landlord and neighbors. Because of limited housing on many of the smaller posts here in Germany, many soldiers end up living off post, on the German economy. And in Germany, many people rent out apartments they have built in the same house they live in, so your neighbor is often your landlord.

My boyfriend's landlords live downstairs from him, and their son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren live above him. He is always out grilling with them, drinking a beer on the weekend, or going out to dinner with them. If there is any problem with his car or bike, his landlord is bound to come over and offer his opinion or help. And when they found out that he was leaving for another year long deployment, crestfallen would be the best description of his "landlord mother." Since he has been in Afghanistan (4 months) he has already received 2 care packages from them. And no dinky care packages at that. He was unpacking one yesterday: Pringles, cookies, hot sauce, bags of chips among other snacks. And it ain't exactly cheap to send a care package from Germany to an US APO address.

So, although there are cases of unfriendliness towards American military personnel here in Germany, his landlords embody the complete opposite.

8 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

Neil has the same relationship with his landlord. I had to go to his house to get something during the deployment, and when his landlord saw me, she was so worried that something had happened to him and I was there to clean out his stuff. He gets along great with them.

This, however, is the exact opposite of the experience all of my friends and I had living in France. Very few of us had any relationship with our landlords, and many of them were very strict with us. We weren't allowed to have friends over, I had to pay for a shelf in my landlord's refrigerator, and in one house my friends were barred from speaking English (even though a Brit, a Scot, and a Swede were living together). The landlord situation is FAR better here in Germany.

7:21 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

My SIL has a very nice relationship with her landlords, too. When my in-laws came over to visit they actually visited and dinnered with the landlords! Even here in the US I'd never dinner with my landlord, though I think he's a nice enough guy. I regard it as nothing more than a complicated business transaction, I guess. So it's always nice to hear about those who have developed it beyond that.

9:02 AM  
Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

Sarah,

OMG, don't even mention France. The first place I stayed at, I lasted 10 days! She didn't like it that I had friends over, and she was always complaining about everything. The other day a German friend was laughing about how I have a whole normal size fridge to myself here in Germany (which would normally be enough for a whole family here in Germany) and I told him about my shelf in the tiny fridge in France, which was truly torture for me. I moved out ASAP into a studio apartment, and everything worked out fine for the rest of the year.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

It's good to hear good stories about German citizens. Can't remember her name but there's also the woman who distributes things for Soldiers Angels at Landstuhl. There's alot of negative (most is deserved) news about Germans but it helps to hear this. Thanks.

1:52 PM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

We've only been stationed stateside thus far, so I have to fall back on what my brother has said on this again... (He's in Germany, too)

He's had some very good, kind German experiences, too.

3:20 PM  
Blogger AlliCadem said...

Ok, Cali~
You got me. I went ahead and started a blog, but I can't recommend that you go there....

One of my friends in Germany.... Well, rather, this chick that I knew.... Had an apartment in Stuttgart and her landlord was a total dick. She couldn't wear SHOES in her apartment because the sound of her walking around was too much. He would watch the washers and dryers like a hawk, and if she left something in the washer by accident, like spare change, he would charge her for maintenance on it - regardless if he needed to get it fixed. When she moved out she spent about 3000 euro to "upgrade" the apartment. It was pretty bad.

Right before we left Germany, we went to my favorite restaurant (German economy) and our little waitress cried and cried that we were leaving. It was pretty touching. Ordinarily you'd never know that they cared.

I have to be honest, though, it's been great coming back to the states. People are really friendly. It's frightening.

Allison

7:10 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Wow - that's really wonderful to hear! There are good and bad people everywhere - I'm just glad he found some really excellent people!

Toni - the woman you are thinking of is Willie Aufmkolk - she is a Soldier's Angel and hands out backpacks to the soldiers who have been injured and are in the hospital at Landstuhl (sorry if that's spelled wrong!). She is an incredibly amazing woman!

5:40 AM  
Blogger Household6 said...

He's a lucky man. My landlord doesn't fix a darn thing. You have to wait until he goes on holiday (which is 6 months out of the year) and then ask his daughter.

Household6
AKA Miss Stella

7:54 AM  

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