Friday, August 05, 2005

European Windows. Duh!

This really is a post about windows here in our Hannover apartment. But there's a context, trust me.

What I'm starting with, however, is my newly-found exercise regimen that works for me. Wanting to put all our 65 apartment steps to good use, they've become my StairMaster equipment each morning. Actually, since 5 of the steps are hallway entrance steps, it's only 60 steps in 6 flights of 10, up and down 6 times in a row. Maybe I should up it to 10 times, who knows, but 6 works up an aerobic heartbeat that satisfies me, without my shaky legs wigging out on me.

This is where the WINDOWS #1 comes in: At each landing (of which there are 3 before you get to our 4th-floor attic...4th floor for Americans, 3rd floor for Europeans, remember! see 4/1 post ), there is a window or windows with accompanying plants and maybe a couple knick-knacks. A Frau Fahrtmann thing! Very bright and cheery, which is exactly why the StairMaster works for me. You can't see it but that hallway window above has 2 different ways of opening, depending on what way you turn the lever. It can stay stationary at the bottom and tilt open inwards from the top (if you click on it to enlarge it, you should see it opened slightly). If you turn the lever the other way, the window will open inwards from the side, more like what we're used to.

Now, WINDOWS #2: Inside our apartment, all our windows (set in at a slant because of the attic walls) open differently altogether! You would never think of 2 smart, grown women having no clue but neither of us could figure out how to open them. When we thought we had figured it out (last Spring), Frau Fahrtmann rushed frantically to tell us we had them open in the fire-escape mode, strictly verboten unless there's, of course, a fire! She then proceeded to give us Windows Opening 101. There's a nice little vent at the top of every window which is a nice appetizer for window opening. We already figured that out. But what we didn't know was that when you pull down on the top vent, with force, the window will pivot open as far as you wish. VOILA! You can even open it just slightly without fear of rain.

Donica told the can't-open-the-windows story to her colleagues at work and got quite the chuckle. The thing is, if you don't know, you don't know. But once you find out, it's one big DUH! And how very clever! Now we love them!

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