June 2005


Hot Apartments

My temporary dwelling in Germany is located on the top floor of an apartment building that is located up a steep hill. In San Francisco the path I ascend, which includes steps, would be a busy street.

By the time I get to the top of the hill, I tend to be pretty hot and sweaty-it’s just my natural reaction to these kinds of activities. Of course, I then have to climb three flights of stairs to reach the apartment which is nestled in what would otherwise be an attic.

It is a typical German one bedroom apartment: There is no kitchen.

That’s right, there is no kitchen. There is a room that can be a kitchen, but it is lacking the stove, cabinets, and refrigerator. Even the kitchen sink.

The chief problem with the apartment in the attic is that after I have climbed the hill and climbed the stairs, I emerge into a boiling hot apartment.

As is typical with German buildings, there is no air conditioning. Fortunately there are windows carved out of the roof, and I am able to alleviate some of the excess heat by opening the windows.

Usually this is an adequate solution: I get up at 4:30 or so to shut the windows in order to block the sunlight that is already brightening my day. Fortunately this is also about the time that the night chills have dropped the temperature to a point where it is perhaps a bit too cold.

Unfortunately last night wasn’t so nice. I woke up to rain falling on the roof, which meant I had to close the windows because the water was falling into the apartment. I couldn’t get back to sleep because of the thunder, which actually turned out fine, because the apartment got hot again. As soon as the rain passed, I opened the windows and went back to sleep.

For an hour.

It rained again and I woke again. The cycle repeated.

I then woke up at 4:30 to shut the windows and block the light.

Between the early sunlight and the rain, it’s amazing that I am functional today.

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