November 16, 2012 by fatcai
One thing you notice when you move to Germany is that there are a shit ton of rubbish bins (trash cans for y’all across the pond) and one of the most confusing things about trying to settle in to Germany is working out what the hell they are all for.
So when I first moved to Germany I was living in a shared flat with 2 Germans and a Frenchie but at the start it was just me, the Frenchie and approximately 6 million rubbish bins in the little kitchen we shared. They were everywhere and we didn’t know what we were supposed to do with them but we didn’t really care that much because we had just arrived in Germany so we were drunk of course, duuuh! Plus Frenchie informed me that they do not recycle anything in France with a sort of look on his face that suggested that if it was something worth doing, the French would clearly already be doing it but as they are not, it must only be a superfluous task that was given to the Germans to keep them occupied so they don’t start any more wars. So we just drank Martinis and ate crepes instead and threw all the rubbish in together in whichever bin we fancied/were closest to.
But the fancy-free fun was not to last as our German roommate, a student of Environmental Engineering came back and nearly had some kind of seizure when he saw the bins and then sat us down like a pair of naughty children and gave us a long lecture on Mülltrennung, the German system of separating rubbish. Something about glass and plastic and paper and compost and yellow dots and then different types of glass and plastic and some other stuff. Maybe.
Well we tried our best anyway but a few days later, Frenchie and I were sitting in the kitchen with Martinis and cigarettes when German Roommate comes in to put something in one of the many bins when he sees something that hurts one of his sparkly blue German eyes…A RECYCLABLE THING HAS BEEN MIXED IN WITH THE NON-RECYCLABLE RUBBISH!!!! We got to listen to the Mülltrennung lecture again. And obviously this cycle repeated itself many, many times but you know, we Ausländers are kind of dumb and our silly Ausländer brains aren’t big enough to store the vast amount of rules required for day to day life in Germany.
So we learned a few tricks to cope with this. We used to have parties, wild parties, with many many Ausländers, who are all immune to the German concept of Ordnung. There was obviously a lot of mess, paper mess, glass mess, plastic mess, compost mess, all the types of mess we had heard about in the Mülltrennung lectures we weren’t listening to. So in order to not have to get the twelve hundred different bins out of the kitchen and separate all the rubbish in the entire flat, we would get one giant bin bag throw everything in it super quick, seal it up, run downstairs, dispose of it about a mile away so no-one could ever trace it back to us and clean the apartment until it shone so German Roommate would be so pleased by the shininess of the apartment, he wouldn’t try and find out what we did with the rubbish.
The thing was the apartment had to be clean and the non-separated rubbish bagged and dumped at a safe distance before German roommate woke up. So we got bloody fast. And bloody good.
And that, my dears, is why you should employ an Ausländer as your Putzfee, we are damn good because we had to learn the hard way.
Since then though I have grown to love separating my rubbish because I am slowly becoming German and boring from the inside out.