Sunday, May 1, 2011

Identity Crisis

Honey and I, we're both Colombian - and we're very proud of it. I think we both keep somewhat strong accents, just to make sure we don't forget where we come from (which, in my case, is a pathetic excuse for not being able to properly pronounce the German sounds...). We eat mostly Colombian food (I cook now!), and we speak in Spanish amongst us.

However, we both live in Germany, and we have to get used to many things here - like the rules. Germans actually follow the rules. And that's cute. Civilized, too, but mostly cute. Also, the Germans like to do things themselves. Also cute. And the Germans like technology - which I think is just awesome.

So we went shopping today (which means, I got paid!). First, the mall. It's amazing how many foreigners there are in Kiel (especially this weekend: we're celebrating 100 years of the cruise Kiel-Oslo, and we are filled with Vikings!), and they are all in the Sophienhoff. You can walk by 10 different groups of people, and you can count at least 5 different languages. It really is extraordinary - and hard to grasp. Why Kiel? Why Germany, a country whose language is so hard to learn and properly speak? Anyway. We had a good time, and bought a bunch of unnecessary things that I, of course, needed to have.

After a couple of hours, Honey and I remembered we had been wanting to buy a new toilet seat, but the one we saw and loved when we were shopping for stuff for the new apartment back in January was like 40 Euros... completely out of our budget - and ridiculously expensive for a toilet seat, for Pete's sake!

So, anyway - we realized that today we had money, time and Lust, as the Germans say, so we went to a Baumarkt to buy the toilet seat. A Baumarkt is one of the few places in Germany where you will hardly find any foreigners, because we like to buy things already built (like Ikea stuff), or pay someone to do that kind of stuff for us... In a Baumarkt you can buy anything and everything you need to build anything and everything you want.

We went directly to the Bath section, and saw a very, very wide selection of toilet seats. Who would have guessed there was such a market. Sadly, the above toilet seat was not available. :-( But we did need a toilet seat, urgently, so we had to choose something. I won't go into details, but yeah... we really needed a new toilet seat.

And here is where our identity crisis set in.

We're Colombian, which means we always want the cheapest things, for a cheaper price and with an added discount. We will then continue to complain and bargain it down to even cheaper. Had there been toilet seats at the Euro Laden, my favourite place in Germany, I would have bought one, with or without the funny image. Leider nicht. We found that the cheapest toilet seat in the Baumarkt costs 12.99 Euros. That was ok-ish.

But then we went on to the "German" section, and saw the toilet seats for Germans: The seat magically falls down after the "business" is done, and makes no sound. Of course, when I say magically, I mean "automatically", "technologically". The toilet seat falls down slowly with a special mechanism that prevents it from making noise as it is being closed; it prevents it from slamming. So, it's hygienic because you don't need to be touching the seat thingy, and it's "decent", because it makes no noise. Also, it's expensive: 49.99 Euros. That was, again, above our expectations for a toilet seat, but this time within our budget.

So, what do we do?

Are we Colombian and thus buy the cheapest toilet seat?

Or are we German and invest in a technologically smart piece of furniture that is sure to make our lives better?

What would you do?

What do you think we did?

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