Germany - Hauptstuhl - New Years Eve

by Kimp 30. December 2014 02:00

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Hauptstuhl is a small quaint German village, with a population of about 1,000 people, in the Rhineland near the border of France, and also where I lived during the fall and winter of 2013. It borders a forest reserve. It is almost exclusively residential with the exception of a picturesque onion dome church. No restaurants, no bars, no shopping. Just beautiful peace and quite, except for the periodic outdoor festive activities and the yearly festival.

I happened to run across a women whose mother had died recently. She owned and lived in a multi-tenant building. Most German housing is multi-tenant and clustered together in villages or cities. It makes for both a very beautiful and very communal atmosphere.

Her building bordered was high on a hill overlooking the town and the front door practically opened right into a path leading into the forest reserve that shared a bordered with it. She showed be her mothers spacious and beautiful apartment on the ground floor and we agreed on a price which I thought was very reasonable. Often times, people take advantage of foreigners, but she had both honest and accommodating personality traits

It was empty when I had looked at it and I had mentioned that I didn't have any furniture. I asked if she knew anyone or place that had second hand furniture. She knew quite a few people and said that wouldn't be a problem. I told her that I would be back in two weeks to move in. 

By the time I moved in, she had painted the entire interior, remodeled the kitchen, put up all new modern light fixtures, bought brand new bedroom furniture including a wardrobe, had bought brand new living room furniture and had lended me the use of her mothers beautiful antique dinning room furniture including a bureau. I said to her that I would be happy to pay more to make up for the difference, but she refused to take any more then the previous agreed upon rate.

So I bought some nice floor rugs for the entire apartment and left them when I departed in the Spring of 2014. All of the floors where a beautiful white tile and hardwood. She also put up some new outside lighting. It was automated as most German outdoor and hallway lighting is, but was not working they way she wanted. She had the Electrician come back three times to work on it. I felt sorry for the poor guy, so after he left the third time, I fixed it they way she wanted, so she wouldn't call him back. I also fixed some wiring mistakes in the kitchen and properly adjusted some things that weren't adjusted properly in the remodeling. Lastly, I changed the hinges in the refrigerator door, so it opened the other way, which was more natural to me, and I installed a few door stops. It's really nice when someone else does all of the heavy work and all I have to do is tweak a few things.

I always try to be a good tenant by taking great care of the place I am renting and leaving it in better condition then when I rented it.

The high school aged son (looked like he was around 11th grade) of my landlady was a great kid. I had never meet his father and I never asked, but he and I shared some quality time out at the barbeque. He smiled a lot, had some funny stories, and he loved to show me his barbeque skills. I shared a few beers and laughs of my own. The drinking age is 16 in Germany,14 if you are with a parent. German's believe in teaching their children how to drink responsibly. Public intoxication makes someone a social outcast here. He was honest, respectful and caring. The kind of kid, any parent would be very proud of.

New Year's Eve

New years eve in Germany is one of the yearly festive outdoor activities. This is a festival that's put on by all of the towns people. They all share in supplying the food, the beer, and the entertainment.

The month of December, everyone starts stocking up on fireworks, and at around 9:00 P.M. on New Years Eve everyone takes to the streets. It's like a town party.

The new years eve of 2013 was uncharacteristically warm and the sky was uncharacteristically clear. The landlords son had a friend over and they came and invited me to go with them. I was quite comfortable in just a light jacket the whole night.

From the hill overlooking the town I could see fireworks going off sporadically all over town. That lasted from around 9 till midnight. Then from midnight till 1:00 A.M. the whole sky, over the entire town, was ablaze with fireworks activity. People were out in all of the streets, parks, and public areas. Firing off rockets into the sky, putting on ground displays, and just hanging out. It was the most amazing display of friendship and comradery that I have ever seen, on this scale. It was like an extended tail gate party before an outdoor sporting or concert event.

The weather was so nice that I ended up staying out until 3 A.M. One of the best times I'd had in a long time.

The next day I was talking to someone and they said that it was a good New Years Eve. Hardly any fires had broken out in Germany. Most of the roofs in Germany are ceramic tiles that are put on top of wooden slats. Sometimes a miss aimed rocket will wedge itself under the ceramic tile and explode, setting the roof on fire. I guess it all isn't fun, especially for the fire department people who are on call that night. I am guessing if you own a building, you probably want to stay near it as well.


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Comments (2) -

1/2/2015 2:55:36 AM #

1,000 people sounds very quaint, there must be a German bakery somewhere in the vicinity. Going to a bakery every morning is something Europe got right.


1/12/2015 5:07:30 AM #

Whomever said, "That's the best thing since sliced bread.", has obviously never had fresh baked bread.
Hauptstuhl doesn't have a bakery that I know of, but there are plenty in the general area.


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