“My goodness, I didn’t even recognize you!” declared our neighbor who sat astride her bike as V and I entered the resident parking garage. Failing to respond to my heartfelt ‘hello’ when our paths initially crossed, her reasoning now struck me as kinda odd.Read More
“So, do you want to do me?”...At first pass, a question such as this brings to my mind images from a handful of low budget movies featuring a seedy nightclub, lost shoes, missing friends and “that” guy at the bar who thinks the unfortunate starlet of this film will succumb to his charm after he delivers this cringe-worthy proposal.Read More
A few months back I was chatting on the phone with a girlfriend as she made her way home during the evening’s commute. Suddenly I became aware of a commotion on her end followed by a muffled conversation that appeared to escalate in tone. Concerned for her well-being, I urgently called out her name seeking assurance she was okay.Read More
It was around this time last year that I came down with a fairly severe case of what is known in Germany as Frühjahresmudigkeit. While I would like to equate the lapse in time since my last instalment at Harlem Hausfrau to this dreaded ailment, I must be honest to both myself and the wonderfully patient readers of this blog that it has in fact been a case of “meinen innerern Schweinehund(“my internal pig(schwein) dog(hund)”) simply rearing its ugly head.Read More
Knee deep in assorted papers that required either a refile or a toss in the trash during the weekend’s attempt to start the year off on a good note, I came across the file that houses the alarming amount of speeding tickets I have acquired over the course of the three years since I scored my German driver’s license.Read More
To this day I cannot for the life of me remember what I deemed so death-like urgent that necessitated a mailing to New York City just three days before Xmas. Every 7-10 years I fancy myself a mailer of Christmas cards and perhaps my being freshly arrived in Germany by just six weeks compelled me to send off a Christmas card or two. Homesickness, I came to learn, can affect one in many different ways. Apparently the wave I was experiencing had adversely affected that part of my brain that tended to make sound and rational decisions.Read More
Peering out into the 6 a.m. morning darkness, I registered with a shudder that the thermostat read a crisp -1 C (29 F.) Groaning, I quickly piled on my winter wear, preparing for the frosty, morning walk with our dog Rosa. In rounding the corner of our building, I was immediately struck by the large, ground floor picture window of our new neighbor’s standing fully ajar.Read More
Upon peering out from the restaurant window into the slowly fading sunlight, I turned to my husband in a mild state of unease and declared…
“We have to go. Like soon, or right now,” I said.
“Go…why?” my husband V asked, signaling the waiter to refresh his empty beer glass.Read More
It occurred to me as I near the six-year anniversary of my move to Germany that I have spent enough time among the natives to gain my own personal insight into the well-documented stereotypes that have plagued the country for as long as most can remember.Read More
Last week I joined the rest of the global community in wishing Star Trek a happy 50th birthday. God I have me some big love for Star Trek but to be clear - I am a bit of a purist - the 1960’s original only and thank you.Read More
I remember back when I was a kid in the fourth grade and being led to believe by my teacher that us kids were on the cusp of something great. Our generation, we were told, were to be the first U.S. citizens to officially learn and ultimately adopt into our everyday lives ‘the’ universal system of measurement (drum roll please) - the metric system.Read More
I have what is known in the German language as Höhenangst or for my American readers, a fear of heights. Thankfully it does not fall within the truly clinical range but it is enough to render a physical sensation that radiates from my feet up into my guts and triggers my brain to play out the various scenarios associated with that one misstep leading to my gruesome and untimely demise.Read More
For the last three days I have sat in my office, consumed by the sensation of my make-up as it makes its way down my face only to land on my desk like colored raindrops. Its 33 degrees Celsius today (that’s around 96 Fahrenheit for my American friends) and there is no air conditioning - like anywhere.Read More
“Oh look, you have gained weight,” MILO exclaimed.
“Excuuuuseeee me?” I gasped in horror, as my eyes narrowed on my mother-in-law.
Now one would think that based on the extreme altering of my facial features that MILO would have recognized this was not a ‘Harlem Hausfrau-friendly’ topic of conversation and it was time to change the subject at hand – fast. MILO appeared not to read me on this – or did she?Read More
Back in early 2000, Europe designated a universal framework for language students to better understand and track proficiency - a system which starts at A1 for beginners and goes up to C2, when one can call themselves relatively fluent. Despite the savvy system, I find it rather limiting and so developed a methodology better suited for my personal needs and one which is based on what I call "Occasions."Read More
As a U.S. expat residing in Deutschland for over five years, I have devoted a respectable amount of time fine-tuning my practices as it relates to any and all State-side visits. Each trip home is a wonder in itself, painstakingly planned via a series of phone calls, emails and internet searches, ending in a calendarized agenda of the must-do activities taking place immediately upon arrival.Read More
Dear Harlem Hausfrau Readers,
Due to the horrific events taking place on June 12th in Orlando, Florida, I made the decision to cancel my previously scheduled Wednesday blog post, as it rang a little hollow to me in light of the tragedy. Initially I thought to go dark for the week but as the days past, I came to realize that there still remained a story here, albeit a sobering one.Read More
I have always been a big lover of beer. While my body is challenged by the very notion of it, quick to send a reminder via my waistline that I might want to rethink the relationship, I warmly embrace this love affair, one that is passionately ignited at the opening of the German beer garden season.Read More
I don’t think it’s a big surprise to any American reading this blog that Europeans, and more specific to the point – Germans - have a higher level of comfort with public nudity than us States-side folks. From my perspective, there are few occasions that more clearly demonstrate this point than the legendary German sauna.Read More