The climax though came with the moving of her washing machine, which was exactly 2 long centimeters too wide for the bathroom doorway in her new apt where the water connections are
. Then also keep in mind that she moved from one duplex into another and naturally the washing machine connections are in the full bathroom in the upstairs of her apt. But the slippery wooden stairs to go up there are tight and narrow and kind of steep. Which meant after 10 min of the guys pretending to be strong enough to slip some disks and get the machine up the stairs that way, in the end we had to get some strong straps to wrap around the machine x-mas present style, and then half of us went to the top of the landing and reached through the railing to take (carefully) some of the weight, while the rest grunted under the crushing weight of the machine on various levels of the staircase. Oh yeah and then theres the fact that the machine was dripping water the whole time making it nice and slippery on the stairs, even with shoes on! Once the macho guys realized the girls were the ones at the top of the steps pulling on the straps, then they tried to take that job from us as well.... ok fine, you want to throw your back out? be my guest. So while a couple of the guys were trying to relieve us of the weight, they accordingly left the rest of the weight to their friends below, and somehow at the very top of the stairs the machine got stuck, and I ended up under it, holding as best I could (thank goodness for pushups!!!) Lucky for me the machine got stuck at a couple small corners in the post of the stairs, but still I was like, uh; a little help here..... Uli? how do you say help in German????? So now I have a new appreciation for learning German
Today we spent mothers day at Ulis new pad, and while she was entertaining her entire family who had invited themselves over for the day and didnt know a word of English, I stayed in the kitchen baking apple crisp (yum!). Meanwhile, her grandma kept saying, why doesnt she come sit with us, she really shouldnt be in the kitchen, and Uli trying to explain that I didnt have more than a word or two of German, so maybe itd be a little awkward. But from what I could tell her family seemed super nice anyways!!!! And then we spent the rest of my birthday out on Katherina's balcony indulging in apple crisp & ice cream, a healthier version of a sachertorte that Katherina had made, and coffee and tea, talking about everything under the sun and above, and listening to some seriously cool and political music of the GDR era... kind of like their version of the 60s Peter Paul and Mary crowd..... ahhhh this is the life!
So during the last week in Jena, I've been helping Uli get packed and move her stuff to her new apartment. Some normality at last!!! Yeah but here's the crappy part: Uli is moved from an apt on the 3rd floor (thats the 4th for us yanks!) of a building with a nice working elevator, into an apt on the 4th floor (you read it right, 5th!) of a building sans elevator. So I was very glad for the exercise, but even happier when she asked me to stay at the old apt on moving day to help get things out of the apt and down to the car park. There were about 8 or 9 of us in all at various times and her mostly guy friends that came to help got the pleasure of hauling the majority of her things up 5 flights of stairs. Excellent! Boys are good for something after all..... haha.