Don’t drop the bomb on me

| October 17, 2012

The only less-than-charming aspect to this otherwise perfect little German town is the air raid siren that randomly goes off. You read that right:

Someone told us that in the olden days we could set our watches to it (if we didn’t have an iPhone or something). There must have been some confused people standing out in the fields during WWII, setting their watches as they witnessed their houses being blown to smithereens.

We originally thought this occurred at noon on Saturdays, based on the fact that we were standing in town on a Saturday, at noon, the first time we heard it. But it might be a Wednesday at 1000am thing, too, based on the fact that it rattled me this morning, a Wednesday, at 1000am. Or a random thing; or set to a schedule that I just don’t get yet. I do wonder, though, whether the leadership of Dieburg have a backup signal in case they must warn its citizens of an actual enemy attack.

Personally, I cannot help but look up. I even picture a black-and-white film-clip-style, low-flying B-17 up there, about to drop a bomb on my charming new hometown as I walk around nibbling a croissant or sit on the side of my bed cramming my legs into thick tights so I can wear a skirt in October.

I am not sure I will get used to ignoring this sound, for fear that one of these days zie enemy really will be approaching.

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Category: In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (3)

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  1. Barbara says:

    The test alarm schedule differs from town to town, someplaces it’s once a week (Saturday 11:55), somewhere else it’s once a year.
    However, if the alarm goes of at a random time, it usually tells people to close door and windows and to swich on the radio (lokal broadcasting corporation). These sirens aren’t just ir raid signals, they also give an instant disaster warning (if for example a chemical factory caught fire and there might be danger from poisonous fumes).
    When I was a child it was also used to alert the fire brigade (pagers weren’t available for all the volunteers). I pretty often literally fell out of bed because our neighbouring house carried the siren :-)

    • I would definitely fall out of the bed! Now I don’t notice it. “Oh, it must be noon.” I’m sure it would catch me off guard if it were another time/day, though. And now I know to run inside and use the only radio we have: my daughter’s Hello Kitty one!

  2. Lynn Bullock says:

    unfreakingnerving — wtf