Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's COLD outside! Don't open the window!!!!

I am having a cultural war at work. A war of windows. A war of fresh air. I war of warmth.

Ok, so here's the thing. I like "fresh air" like any other. But I have to say, I much prefer warmth. I admit it. I prefer stale warm stuffy air to fresh clear ICE COLD winter air. I don't like to shiver at work. I don't like to feel like I have to wear a sweater. I do not feel like imitating camping when I go to the toilet. I HATE FRESH AIR!!

I know that this is a very German obsession. It's driving me insane. Does anyone else have this cultural clash? There's a great article about the German fear of the "Zugluft" here, which seems to be in complete contrast to the "fresh air" obsession. In the summer, opening the windows is taboo, because of the "evil breeze". In the winter, opening the windows is a necessity because of the "stuffy air". Are they just on a mission to scare us expats away? What's the deal with the hypocrisy?!?! Somebody help me!!!!!!!

7 comments:

Silvia said...

Emily,
reading your post I simply thought: I so much agree with you!! :-)
Ok, it is fine to let in (quickly) some fresh air, but not to leave the window open for hours... and it's sooo cold these days!
Cheers,
Silvia
PS: I am closing every window I find open in the office, they probably think I'm crazy ;-)

Emily Flechtner said...

@silvia haha. I am so happy that I am not alone. I guess it's just one of those things that takes time to acquire in Germany... like their fetish for "house shoes"... i used to walk around barefoot, but now i can't live without them... oh dear

Silvia said...

Ehehe, "house shoes" :-) we have the same habit in Italy... but when it's not this cold, I love to walk around barefoot... (I guess my year in the US left its traces... even if it was sooo long ago!) That's a problem of being "moving" expats, you end up being a cultural mix, more or less everywhere "culturally incorrect" ;-)

Emily Flechtner said...

so true! you're from Italy! I lived there too (in padova) but only for four months. And I have to say... i wore slippers there too, the floors were so cold! and that's so true about "fitting in nowhere and everywhere"!

cliff1976 said...

I hear ya on the "evil breeze" and fear of the resulting "draft neck."

Even on stifling trains and busses in the middle of the hottest part of the summer, it seems I can't open a window for longer than a minute or so lest some wussy person (often a little old lady, so I don't glare too much) notice the air movement. That kinda bugs.

"Würden Sie bitte das Fenster zumachen? Es zieht." And that "Helloooo? McFly?" expression on their faces kills me. Yeah, I know "es zieht." That's the point!

Anonymous said...

Hi- I just stumbled across your blog, and loved this post. I rent an apartment near Nuernberg. When I moved in my landlady gave me a lecture and referred to 2 detailed pages in the "hausordnung" on how to ventilate the apartment properly. Since I often leave my shades closed during the day she has come to the conclusion that I do not ventilate at all. Now she enters my apartment freely, turns OFF the heat, and opens the windows while I am at work! She says this is to minimize the risk of mold build up. Ahhhhh. What in the world??? I'm from California and if we wanted fresh air we would turn on the AC.

pwlsax said...

The cold air is good because it hardens you.

The breeze is evil because it comforts you.

All else is rationalization towards these core beliefs.

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