Where to begin…
Apartment living is not my cup of tea.
So to wash clothes this is how it works.
You have an assigned time (so Swiss) to use the washer and dryer which is downstairs at the very bottom of the building. Granted, it’s very safe, clean and well lit and accessible by the lift. Or the elevator that can carry 2 people tops – very European.
There is a washer and a dryer, very modern, very well engineered. The directions should be plain and simple – turn knob, put in clothes, add soap, close door, press button. wait. Done.
OH let’s backtrack here.
First you have to gather your dirty belongings, put them in a bag of some kind – in my case it was a “chi chi” bag from Chicoreè which is a very nice clothing store here. Stuffed in the ‘whites.’ Brought with me the soap. I think it was soap. It smelled good. it was in a big bottle. It was in a number of different languages none of which I recognized as being English or French. Soap is soap. Can’t go wrong. No time to translate – I’ve washed clothes before, how difficult can this be??
In my possession was the washing machine key, which is for a digital thing that has your account on it and how much money you have in your account for washing clothes. It unlocks the machine to use and keeps subtracting swiss francs. Then you have to take your house key too which totally makes sense as you are on the third floor and you are pressing the button in the lift for the floor that says MINUS ONE. BUT…you have to unlock that floor button with your house key or you don’t go to the laundry room. In retrospect that would have been a godsend in this case…
Lot to remember.
OK, so now I am in the basement, in the well lit, nicely painted white downstairs laundry room all by myself. The allotted laundry time for Christopher is Wed. and Sun. nights from 5-10pm. If you miss those windows…too bad. Kind of like the way they run their trains here. Ohhhhh, too bad you missed the train. It does leave RIGHT on time you know. mmmm, ok. Swiss rules.
Putting the digital key into the proper receptacle and I guess it did what it was supposed to do. I really don’t know except that the machine lit up like a Christmas tree. Ah, so far so good. Water started to trickle into the machine. And then…it stopped. totally. No more Christmas lights. I put the digital thing back in. Turned it. Went on again. Stopped again. sigh
So you are probably wondering why Christopher wasn’t helping me out here. Well, he did show me how to use the machines a few days ago. Easy Peasy, right? I nodded in agreement – yah, I got it. Well apparently I didn’t ‘got it.’ So, I left the laundry in the machine, said a few unprintable words, took all my keys with me and went back upstairs empty handed.
NOT GIVING UP
Regained composure, went down again, and — this time it worked. ah. Gave it half hour and then checked again. (note this is the THIRD time I have negotiated the lift from floor 3 to basement) Laundry was done. Or so it seemed. Opened door, another trick, more words. And the clothes were sopping wet. No spin dry here. I had to literally wring out the clothes by hand in the sink in the laundry room. I would have done better at the stream with the rocks for washing.
And put them in the dryer??? You must be joking. I had enough frustration for one night, not to mention NO jamies and NO sheets for the bed. And no towels. Everything else I can make do. Even the jamies – I’ll just wear t-shirt and bathrobe. The dryer, minus Christmas lights, would have been equally fun to operate by the way.
Meanwhile…I am draping wet clothes out on the cool damp patio this evening. They will still be wet by tomorrow. I can hardly wait. With my luck it will rain. Let’s hope there is no wind like the last time I visited and put clothes out to dry. My jamies are still flying around Lausanne…
And so I go to bed this evening totally frustrated that I could not operate a stupid washing machine that had directions in German. Achtung.
Christopher is at a rehearsal tonight until late. And my time for doing the laundry won’t come again until Sunday. Gee this is fun.
Tomorrow is another day….keep smiling. It’s only clean clothes. I still have a whole bag of dirty clothes I could wear. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. I am all LOL’d out now. And it’s only September. How will I last until December???
And of course the ONLY time I have ever met anyone in the lift had to be tonight as I was coming UP with 2 bags of laundry, a soap bottle and dressed in a godawful dress that I hate and not thinking I would see anyone…and I had to smile at this drop dead good looking guy and say BONSOIR (because that is what you say to anyone in your building. It’s a French thing.)
No wonder the French don’t do much laundry.