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Adopt-a-Russian January 13, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Well, or more like, Rent-a-Russian, or Short-Lease-a-Russian. Just for a couple of weeks.

Some vital statistics:

Age: 30

Build: brick shithouse

Appetite: ferocious

Usefulness around the house: exemplary, including repairing things that are already in full working order

Ability to knock up dinner out of a (half-)fridgeful of utterly uninteresting ingredients: exemplary

Conversability: improves upon lubrication

Maintenance: low



1. I hate my neighbours - January 13, 2006

Is he any good at picking locks? I’m currently locked in (annoying) – in my girlfriend’s flat – and, like me, she doesn’t have a toilet to call her own (very annoying), and the empty bottles of Berliner Pilsner are not empty any more (even more annoying). While I wouldn’t care about pouring urine down the sink (or even pissing into it, come on, it’s an emergency, I know she’d get quite perturbed about that kind of thing.

How does one get locked in? Well, you have a crap front door which, under certain weather conditions, doesn’t shut at all (or re-opens all by itself), meaning you have to lock it with a key to keep it shut. I presume she assumes I keep her key with mine. But I don’t. It’s about 90 centimetres away, in my flat. (She’s the neighbour I hate the least, by the way). I am also (almost) without clothes, or anything much to eat. I hope she doesn’t decide to gallavant through the city, or tour record shops once her Schicht is over. With any luck, I’ll be released by about 16.45.

When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there
When I needed a neighbour, were you there.

I was cold, I was naked..
I was hungry, I was thirsty..

I can spend the time writing 10,000 word blog entries, can’t I.

2. BiB - January 13, 2006

IHMN, but at least you have an internet connection, which is far more important than food, clothes or a loo. Go for the down-the-sink option, by the way. She’ll never notice, and I won’t tell her, and wee’s actually perfectly clean – Russians (though, thankfully, not my one) are all for drinking it – and you’ll still be able to get your Pfand back on the bottle.

Is she in possession of a mobile telephone? Perhaps you need to advise her of your sticky sitch so that she doesn’t go and have a very convoluted haircut.

The Russian cannot pick locks, malheureusement. In fact, even with a key he is known to have difficulty opening a door. Russian front doors are ludicrously complicated for, I presume, security reasons. There are normally two of them and they have hulking, clunking, big, old-fashioned locks with keys the size of a prosthesis. I was once summoned to rescue him one morning – to get him in, not out – thus making me late for work – imagine! I had a real job back then, but it mostly involved sitting around drinking tea. I was EXCELLENT at it – which got me a bollocking which I quick-as-a-flash refuted with my catch-all excuse, “Sorry, got arrested again for looking like a Chechen.” Never failed, that one…

3. I hate my neighbours - January 13, 2006

We might have neither bathroom, toilet nor modern heating, but we do have broadband internet, WLAN, VoIP, and I have a mobile phone with a proper phone number. She has a mobile phone too. But as mobile phones are annoying, they only serve as very loud alarm clocks. I think a haircut is unlikely. She might only be very delayed if someone decides to nick the S-Bahn’s electricity cables again.

4. I hate my neighbours - January 13, 2006

Would your Russian like to chop up a load of wood (ex-floorboards)? With a circular saw? Unlikely, isn’t it.

5. BiB - January 15, 2006

I think he prefers his physical labours to have no tangible result (except an increase in his bulk), so I might struggle to outsource him to you for that task.

When you say circular saw, do you mean the type that is a staple of James-Bond-style thrillers which look as if they’re going to chop our hero clean in half but never do?

I’m glad you’re well stocked up on fuel for the winter. Aber no bathroom or loo? At all? Without wanting to pry overly much, do you manage to remain clean?

Excuse the dim questions. It’s 3am and I’m suffering from insomnia. What I need is a 4-hour train journey to Frankfurt and a 30-hour flight to get my biological clock back in order. Roll on Monday (he says, unenthusiastically, secretly wishing he could just stay at home) (although I know I’ll love it once I’m there. I just need to worry in advance, probably for a very good reason I haven’t yet understood).

6. I hate my neighbours - January 15, 2006

There’s a Stehdusche (no thanks to my landlord) in the kitchen. And there’s a window and a bucket. Well, an Außenklo. I’m thinking of putting marble on it’s floor and walls. Possibly a golden cistern. Luxury in, er, the opposite of “modern sanitary facilities”. That’ll be the quite-near-to-Essex side of me coming out there then.

Ask Joeblade, he can vouch that you can live here and remain clean.

The circular saw – the fact that I often fear that it will chop me in half is one reason that I’d like to sub-contract out its use.

7. leon - January 16, 2006

I can confirm that one can remain reasonably clean, though with the positioning of the Stehdusche / curtains etc. I was in some danger of enraging Dagmar’s neighbours even further than the title of this blog suggests.

8. I hate my neighbours - January 16, 2006

The title of her blog, I think you mean.

9. BiB - October 16, 2006

Aren’t all showers steh? When we first arrived in Berlin, and lived in a (shared) hovel for a month, there was some poor imitation of a shower in the kitchen, and I was always worried the neighbour might see my willy. It delivered half a trickle of water. I probably gave up in the end and remained stinky till we moved to a hovel all of our own.

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