Our front garden, like many German houses, is enclosed by a wall and locked gate. If someone comes to our gate, they can press a button that rings inside our house. In our front hallway, there is a button we can press to unlock the gate. The view from our house down to the gate is obscured by trees and there is no video camera so it’s impossible to tell who is there. In the beginning, I would walk down our garden stairs to see who it was before I let them in. After a few days of that, I started just buzzing in whoever rang our bell. Then I just look through a window and see if they are fit to invite in. They always are.
Some of the people that come are here for repairs, etc and we sometimes didn’t know they were coming. Others, well, it’s become a bit of a game for me because we’ve had several surprise guests–some we already knew and some we didn’t. You just never know who is thinking about you. Nora has caught on to the game too. Whenever the bell rings, Nora races to the buzzer and then flies down the garden stairs. So far we’ve only had one awkward moment. I had just stepped out of the shower and the bell rang. Nora buzzed, ran down the stairs, and shot back up to report there was a man at the gate and he said he had to come in. It turned out to be the chimney sweep (again, no notice). When he saw my sopping wet hair and bathrobe, he practically threw himself down the basement stairs to get to work.