Something different for a change
August 1st 2002

It’s seems hard to believe, but:

Yesterday‘s downpour which swept away most of Hamburg and flooded an unheard-of number of basements an cellars (2 out of 12 of my choir were missing yesterday due to being flooded – and this is not including myself), did almost not affect me!

Well, OK, there was a bit of dripping from the usual cracks in the walls but by now I know quite well where and how to place my pots and pans, in order to be able to catch most of the water.


When, at about 11:00 p.m., I came home from the singing and the obligatory trip to the pub afterwards I was a bit surprised to find one of the doors on the 1st floor ajar. I poked my head inside the flat, just to be greeted by Silvana and Ivo, who live in this flat: "It’d dripping onto our bed!" Now, this can not really be cause by the rain, especially since the water does not really look like rain-water. "Seems to be coming from upstairs. Let’s go wake some people," I suggest.

Lena, living directly above, does not open her door. The other flat above Silvana and Ivo’s place belongs to Joerg, who only moved here some four weeks ago and – after staying in the flat for just a week – went to Greece for an extended holiday.

By pure chance, just this very afternoon, I had been talking to Heike and Alexander – the third party living on the 3rd floor – about Joerg. They’d told me that he’d given them the keys to the flat, which were "only to be used in an absolute emergency". Which is – I think – what we’re facing here! So we ring Heike and Alexander’s door-bell.

Just a minute later, they’re awake, more or less dressed and – key in hand – standing in front of Joerg’s door with us.

The flat looks a f****** mess! And when I say f******, I actually mean it! Joerg’s been away for two weeks now, so you can imagine things... Yack!!!

So... Here we go again:

Within minutes the flat looks a total chaos! Gosh, this guy is a collectomaniac!!! (I always thought I was pretty bad – no longer do I believe this!)

Fortunately I manage to find a nice Beatles album to put on the stereo, because – after all – you just have to make the best out of the given circumstances, don’t you?

Over the last weeks I have mastered the art of extracting water from a carpet. It’s a bit worse when it isn’t rain-water but my level of tolerance has already risen beyond measure anyway. As long as I know there is a shower waiting for me, afterwards, I almost couldn’t care less.

At some point we all (Silvana, Ivo, Alex, Heike, Jockel (from upstairs) and myself decide to wake Heide, who’s living directly above Joerg and is the only one sharing his drain-pipe. Couldn’t it be she’s at least party responsible for this mess, so why should she be the only one allowed to sleep?

Luckily, is there pretty quick. Better still, he’s a nice guy and even knows what he’s doing! Although, he’s a bit on the devious side, when a little later, in the basement, he’s trying to open the drain-in-question. "Would you mind holding the tongues," he says to Alex, while he’s bagging away. "No, when I count to 3, you just let go and run!" Of course Alex isn’t running fast enough!!!

We’re all very amused by Lena, who – at about 1:00 a.m. – appears in the door-frame, wearing nothing but her underwear and obviously being very sleepy and disoriented: "You know," she says without hesitating a moment, "there are people who are trying to sleep at this time of the night!" Obviously she’s under the rather wrong impression that we’re in the middle of decorating the place!!! J

At about 2:00 a.m. the pipe is de-clogged, Alex has water- Hoovered the basement, Joergs furniture is stock in a neat pile in his kitchenette, the carpet is making a lot less squeaky noises, the plumber’s got a signature underneath his vast bill and we’ve voted for ruining Joerg’s holiday by calling him tomorrow. (I was against it!)

Good-night then.

One funny anecdote from my own flat:
Thursday morning, 7:00 a.m.

Carpenter: "Are you on your way out!"
Corinna: "Yes, like most mornings, I’m on my way to work."
Carpenter: "Are you coming back shortly?"
Corinna: "Not really."
Carpenter: "Could you try to?"
Corinna: "Why?"
Carpenter: "We’re going to put in the windows today. And it would be good if
You could be here to tell us where to put them."
Corinna: "I’ll try."

When I come home at noon, 5 windows have already been put in on Caspar’s side of the roof. I’m a bit surprised, thinking that Caspar only wanted 3, maximum 4 windows. To make sure, I knock on his door: "Caspar, did you want 5 windows?" – "No. Why?" – "You got them now." – "?!?"

This guy is amazing: He’s home all day, living directly underneath the hammering carpenters and does not even think about poking his head up the attic to check on what’s going on up there...

What’s the end of this story?

3 out of 5 windows had to come out again!

Rise and shine (even if it’s hard some days)!