So, it's my last weekend in Germany, and I am doing laundry. I got up early (for a weekend) to get a "jump-start" on the washing machine situation. You see, at the guesthouse here there is ONE washing machine, for what I would guess are ~30 apartments. Ok, that's not so bad you might think... but I must first explain some points about the functioning of European washers and dryers.

Firstly, 60 min is fast for a small load of laundry to go through the washing machine. I go through and change all the settings such that the time comes down to 65 min. My clothes get clean this way... maybe they have a bit more soap than they might otherwise, but I'm ok with the result. However, when I went downstairs today at 9:30am there was a load in the washing machine scheduled to be completed in 144 min... and it was already going for a while because there was actually water in there already. Oy-vey! Are you kidding me?? Two hours to wash (not dry, just wash) a load of laundry???

Ok, so at least these Euro-washers give the time remaining. This is convenient for sharing as I can keep track of the time and hopefully sneak my load in just at the end. So I go back down to put my wash in a little after it should have been done (I got distracted by knitting and Civ and lost track of time) and the clothes are still in the washer. Ok, no problem, anyone who is going to put their wash on for 2 hours deserves to get it dumped on the table. Plus the table is clean, so really it's no big deal at all. But, man-oh-man, did they ever pack that washer full!! I guess that's why they went for the super every option mode, there was way too much jammed in there. So as I start trying to pull everything out it be comes clear that this load of laundry has morphed into a giant tangled mass of fabric, the only free pieces being tiny little childrens' socks which proceed to fall all over the floor. In fact, I rescued a few socks that got jammed into the door seal.

Anyway, I put my load in on my amazing super-fast 65 min mode, but alas the dryer is not free. Because those are incredibly slow too. Actually I haven't fully dried my clothes since arriving here, I just get them started for about an hour and then drape them all over the place to finish drying "naturally". It's just not worth the wait. And this is if you remember to clear the lint trap and the water trap (yes, European dryers collect and condense the water instead of venting it to the great outdoors). I'm not sure others here actually do this as last time I cleared the lint trap there were at least 4 layers of multicoloured lint. No wonder these machines are always busy.

So: status is 2:38 pm here, and I have one of two loads washed but not dried. I'm giving up for now. Going to shower and head down to the Duisburg Innenhafen. Maybe get some "Eis" (that's ice cream... and Germans seems to be hopelessly addicted to it... no complaints here).

I'll post something real on my next attempt to do laundry later today.

No comments: