If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Since I'm on business for so long, I get to do laundry. Here's some sample prices for the hotel's laundry service (all in Euros) :

  • shirt 5.00
  • T-shirt 4.00
  • underpants 3.00
  • handkerchief 1.50
  • jeans 7.00
  • pair of socks 3.50
And I thought 17 Euros a day for Internet service was ridiculous. I don't care that my company would pay for this, I actually find these prices offensive. I asked where I am working about finding a laundromat. Well, that wasn't much help as he didn't even know the German word for laundromat. I eventually figured it out, found one using Google Maps and had scoped the place out Sunday when I ran.

If it's Tuesday, it must be laundry night. Before getting on the tram (the place was about a mile and a half away) I put my wallet and all my coins into a pocket that had a velcro closure so nothing would fall out. I got to the place without any issues.

The place was pretty full...of clothes. Not many people around though (it was a bit warm to hang out in the place). I set about deciphering the instructions.

All the machines were centrally controlled. You could also buy soap at this same central location...somehow. I waived a few people past me and tried to watch what they were doing but they were too fast. I stared vacantly at Central Control (CC). A big guy sitting nearby asked me something-in German, of course-and I asked if he spoke English.

"Yyyyyyessss," he replied in that distinctly German way. He explained how to operate the machines. Put your clothes and soap in first, select a cycle (he explained 3 of the 5 available as colors, lights and faster), close the door, go to the CC and insert your money (for one load, serving of soap, 10 minutes of drying, etc.) and press the number or letter of your machine. Then go back to your machine and press the starting button. Simple, ya?

While waiting, I found the cost of the advice was 30 minutes of talking with this guy about travel and such. Most Germans are not very talkative/open; maybe the term I'm looking for is warm. As a contrast I would pick Hawaiians as the other end of the spectrum. Anyway, some Germans (and even more ex-pats, I think) when they find someone who is willing to talk, seem to gorge themselves on conversation. For me, these people are like oasis in the desert.

Thirty minutes later my 2 loads (colors and lights) were done. Well, not quite. Seems I didn't put the soap in correctly and so the soap got stuck by the door until the final spin when it got all over my colors (lights were fine). I restarted the load, this time going for "faster" and put the lights in the drier for 20 then another 10 minutes.

By now, my helper friend had finished his laundry and headed home. I went to sit on a chair outside and read my book. Clink, clink, clink. Well now. After using the CC, I put the change in my pocket; my "not the pocket with the velcro" pocket. The chair I sat in was on top of a grate. Great. I believe I donated 3.50 to the whoever-fishes-money-out-of-the-grate-in-front-of-the-laundromat charity.

I guess I'll put this on my Expense Report as Werfischtgeldausdemrostvordemwaschsalonwohltätigkeit.

* - whoever fishes money out of the grate in front of the laundromat

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