13 September 2007

Thursday is National Cleaning Day

I swear I am not making this stuff up. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but no, we are not making it up. Every week on Thursday people clean like mad. I'm sure they do small things around the house all week, but they go to town on Thursday. No one would think of it on Friday (beginning of the weekend), Saturday or Sunday (the national day of quiet and if you even think of making noise the police will come to tell you to be quiet). Monday and Wednesday are market days, and Tuesday, well, I haven't figured out what they do here on Tuesday. Maybe that is when the sun comes out.

So what and how do we clean on Thursday? This, too, is on a whole new level of crazy that would bring the OCD clean freaks over here in plane loads. First, you must sweep your section of the hallway. This is called in English, "Being a good neighbor". Yes, you must sweep your hallway from your landing down to the next landing.

Next, but not necessarily in this order, you clean the inside of your house. But! You can't do this between the hours of 1-3pm as this is also mandated quiet time. Don't laugh too boisterously, no clogging or tap dancing, don't crank up the telly when Jethro Tull comes on or again the polizei (police) will come to tell you no-no or perhaps make you pay a fine if this has been a repeat visit. Once three has come, you can let it rip like you live in Berlin (but only reasonably so), and resume your chores such as cutting the grass with your non-gas lawn mower which you must plug into the outlet and have someone follow behind you carrying the cords so that you don't accidentally run over them with the blades. (Sorry, I have been unable to get a picture of this because it is so damn funny I can't keep the camera still).

Then the trash. This can easily take a half hour. No chucking-it-all-into-one-bin and throwing the bag down the chute. (Ahh the days of yore....) Nein! If you want to get technical about all of the ways trash can be sorted, come to Germany. Now don't get me wrong. I have been trying to get Mr. Left to just recycle glass and plastic for years. When we found out we were moving to Germany I was devilishly happy because now the polizei would force him into an all-out six-bin sorting recycler. My fight would be in the German government's hands and now I can relax (especially between 1-3pm daily, as I have mentioned). So we have four bins: plastic, paper, bioabfall (compost and biodegradables), and restmull (which is everything else that can't be recycled). Wine bottles in the corner get taken the glass bin down the street where they, too, get separated. Then hazmats get hauled to some location. Six bins total. Really makes you think of everything you consume when it comes time to break it down and send off all its bits to its containers.

Weird Bits On Recycling:
  • Even lint from the dryer gets recycled
  • Q-tips must be picked out of the bathroom bin and put into the non-recycled bin (restmull). Lovely.
  • Did you know dust isn't recyclable?
  • Hair goes in the compost. Good luck collecting that.
  • Tissue not used goes into paper bin. But if you've sneezed in it please put it in the bioabfall recycling bin.
  • And, if something has you stumped, do what I do and wait till late at night or early morning and run it down to the "generic" trash bin down at the bus stop when no one is looking.
It's almost three here--time to make some noise! Tschuss!!

1 comment:

Sara in Japan said...

I'm having the same issues with Japanese garbage. But I haven't figured it out yet. I have a whole pile of garbage just waiting to be categorized, because the brochure they gave us is extremely complicated. There are even specific garbage bags that are required for each type! So I feel your pain!

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