We had several exchange students from many countries at my high school during my senior year. I remember one day when they were all sitting in a group and complaining about things they missed from home. The discussion turned to things they did not like about America. While I did not begrudge them their homesickness, I grew more and more uncomfortable with their complaints about the US. When someone brought up American windows and they all agreed, I thought to myself Come on! Now you’re not even trying.
That is, of course, because I had never encountered the German window. They rock.
The windows open like doors: turn the handle on the right 90 degrees, and it swings open on its hinges. But wait! There’s more. If you turn the handle another 90 degrees, the window will tip open towards you and just be cracked at the top. This is called kippen. Here’s a video of me kipp-ing a window in my apartment.
But wait! There’s more!
In addition to the windows themselves, the blinds are amazing. They are built into the structure of the building, and you can control them either electronically or with a rope and pulley system. The blinds lock down and block out the light, making them perfect for sleeping late. That is why my husband dubbed them “zombie blinds.” It is also fun to have the feeling that I am securing the perimeter when I put them down at night. Yeah, I’m that important. Watch the video here.
It really is the little things that make life great. Three cheers for German window technology!
Just in case you’re wondering, I am not the only weirdo American who uploaded videos of German windows on YouTube. Try a search on YouTube and see for yourself.