Posted on Dec 16, 2012 in Berlin | 0 comments

I don’t really have much respect for housewives. Surely that was, and in some cultures, still is the way a patriarchal society keeps women under control and from being exposed to ideas, and from freely roaming the world. Obsessive housekeeping in our culture, in my view, is often just an excuse to procrastinate on living your life to its full potential; there is no pleasure or glory in it. I will grant that it’s a slightly better waste of time than surfing the web obsessively, which I have been known to do. But on Saturday, November 15 I spent most of the day cleaning the apartment in preparation for Jeff’s arrival here on Monday, December 17. He is coming to visit me!

The plan had been that my two favourite German teenagers would visit me this weekend from Osnabrück, E. and M. (you know who you are!), but it didn’t work out for them to make it here. But we will visit them right after Christmas. This meant I didn’t have to clean up during the week for the girls, but could push my cleaning into this weekend. I felt efficient to get it all done on Saturday so that I would be able to take Sunday off to just have fun.

Sink plug before and after cleaning

I had to dig deep to find an image to go with this post. You could also say that I scraped the bottom of the barrel. Now you are thinking I should have really put a plug in that one.

For a change, I did not turn on my computer on Saturday at all. I washed all the floors in this place and the complete bathroom (lots of scrubbing on flooring and tiles to get ground-in dirt off). I took the icky living room rug around the corner and tossed it into a commercial washer (I had already shaken it out a couple of weeks ago, and a lot of dirt had fallen out, including an old sock — yes, it’s one of those really shaggy carpets and the sock was stuck somewhere under it). I scrubbed a filthy bathroom sink plug that was so clogged with old deposits and grime that it didn’t let much water through even when in the “up” position (I had considered throwing it out and buying a new plug, but that turned out hard to find, and once I started cleaning it, I realized it was clean-able. Amazing how throwing something away is NOT always the best option. I admit I often want to throw something out before I consider fixing it. Luckily Jeff doesn’t let me do that). I did a couple of loads of laundry so it would be dry by Monday evening, I wiped tops and fronts of cupboards and closets. I made room for Jeff’s bathroom stuff and clothes.

I don’t want to make this place sound awful, it really is a nice quality building and apartment with nice finishings in an amazing neighbourhood and close to the city centre. It just probably never gets cleaned that well between all the short-term renters that stay here. If I was a short-term renter here for a few days or even two weeks, I wouldn’t bother cleaning much either. But being here for three months is different.

I would totally rent here again. I am already thinking, “How can I do this Berlin thing again?”