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Fresh Air

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Me: Let’s open the windows and get some fresh air in.
American partner: But it’s cold outside!
Me: So?

We love to air out our homes – and remember, a lot of Germans do not have air-conditioning, or air filters, or 500 varieties of air fresheners. If you get too cold, just leave the room, close the door, and wait till the “lueften” (airing out) is over. Also, many German homes are smaller than their American counterparts, thus the air does get stuffier more easily.

And don’t forget: fresh air is medicinal, or so we believe in Germany (and probably other parts of Europe, too). Why else would there be the term “Luftkurort“, whose English equivalent “climate spa” or “climate health resort” is not really a familiar concept? Ideally, you go to the mountains or the seaside, and breathe, breathe deeply. If you can’t afford this, just open your windows once a day, that’s better than nothing. Should the season happen to be winter, remember Friedrich Nietzsche : “Was uns nicht umbringt, macht uns staerker.”

Funnily, one typical situation of windows NOT being opened is during car rides. You might be stuck, with Germans, on a very hot day, in a car, and they will not let you roll down the windows. If you did, you and everybody inside would be exposed to the much-feared DRAFT. But that’s another story.

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6 thoughts on “Fresh Air

  1. Nikole, could you please explain the much-feared DRAFT to me? This is a topic I have had so many arguments about with Germans.Does this fear exist in America? Am I just oblivious to it?

  2. One reason for Lueften might be also that in my experience german windows and doors are tighter than americans. At least my actual front and patio door do not close well at all, and so there is always fresh air coming in. (By the way, that can produce this bad draft) Hopefully that will change after moving into the new flat and then I can Lueften again 🙂

  3. That’s encouraging. Anyway it’s gonna be a brand-new apartment. I will let you know if the windows are closing good.

  4. Pingback: Free Body Culture | WHY DO GERMANS...?

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