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Learning How to Get a Cell Phone

01/06/2007

Seeing as how we are having to learn everything over again from talking to eating to public transport, I thought I’d share the saga of what it takes to get a cell phone, or what the locals call “Handy’s” (imagine Hanz and Franz from SNL saying it for the true pronunciation). Getting a Handy is not as easy as you would think. It took us three days of trying, and thank god the people at O2 (where we finally ended up signing a contract) speak English and have the patience of nuns. To make a long story and many trips up the pedestrian area short, we finally have the blasted Handy’s in our possession but we don’t know what our numbers are, how to use them, or anything. The manuals came in German (I am appreciating the multilingualism of American commercialism more and more)but after a half hour on the German internet and a German keyboard I have found an English user guide–score! If only we had someone to call, but then again all the stuff on the screen is in German, too, so whatever. German lessons start next week with the Frau.

Today the cleaning ladies came to our apartment, which was a surprise. We thought we were on our own. I tried to tell them I was already cleaning but they told me not to do it (apparently it must be odd that someone likes to clean) and that they would come back on Friday to do it again. All in German and we somehow got one another. I still cannot figure out the European washing machines and why the cycles go on for hours. Then every once and a while odd beeping sounds come from the thing and then I have to go in there with my dictionary and figure out what it is telling me. Today it was “container empty”. Apparently the moisture from wet clothes in the dryer distills an goes into a small container that you have to empty out.

It is raining. Again. Which we don’t mind. Everything is beautiful and green. We are looking forward to the sun coming out sometime soon. It’s a good incentive to knit like mad to keep the chill out. Not like I need a knitting incentive, though. I have to do something while I wait the 119 minutes for the washing machine cycle to be done!

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