Mrs. Jones

It was a great sunny day… seldom in Germany I thought. Anyways, to come here was a very big decision. Leaving LA airport at 23 degrees Celsius plus, and landing here in Munich to minus 17 degrees Celsius was tough. I had not seen snow for almost 10 years in my young age at that time.   Munich was under snow… Everywhere was just purely white, beautiful. But damn cold.

That was an enormous temperature change for me. It was tough. I can recall a day when waiting at the bus stop to have cried because of cold, not being able to feel my toes, then the entire feet. They were numb, as well as my face and hands.

Anyways, that day, approx 4 weeks after I came here, I had almost settled down in my little apartment that was organized by work for me. It was nice.

An attic with big windows. The style of buildings and the architecture was different than the USA. Germans loved details and the good work. One could tell.

The building I lived was a five-floor building with 10 apartments. I had not seen much of my neighbors, but Mrs. Jones.

It was nice to have a neighbor who once was married to an American and lived in the USA I thought. She looked tough and had a very important role in our building: care taker.

It was a Sunday.

Gosh, I hated Sundays since the childhood; it was a day that always took forever for me.

I would always do the stuff that I hated most, namely the household on Sundays.

So in the afternoon, early afternoon, I took the vacuum cleaner and began to go through the living room.

20 minutes later the bell rang. I was wondering who that was, as I did not have any friends in town that I was expecting.  I opened the door and could not believe my eyes: the police!

(We have a complete different respect to police in the USA!)

I just shortly wondered what I possibly did so that police was at my door.

With big and thrilled eyes, even blushed and asked after having opened the door:

What can I do for you?  The police officer asked me if I was Ms. Goodman, and I answered the question: “Yes, I am”.

“How long do you live here?” “Well…”  I said “er…almost 3 weeks now. Why?”

“We have “Ruhezeit” in Germany Ms. Goodman… please do not vacuum clean between 1 pm and 3 pm.”

“Oh..! I did not know, I am terribly sorry.” Was all I could say.

“No worries, have a nice Sunday” smiled and pitied the police officer – do they have this kinda time? If you called the police for such a reason in the USA they would tell you to change your doctor immediately.

I simply could not believe what had just happened just right there.

Just wondered what was going on in those head(s) of people who called the police, instead of coming over to my door and give this very valuable information to me themselves.

Was it really worth to keep the police busy with such a “criminal act” – bothering them with vacuum cleaning sound at 1.30 pm in the afternoon? – I thought.

When I called my mother to tell the news she told me to leave flowers to every single door in the building and I did. Everyone in the building greeted and said “hi” after this kind gesture. Except for Mrs. Jones.


Text: Eveline Goodman.

„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.

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