I had to go and wash my clothes in a laundromat today for the first time in decades!
My little flat does not have a lavatrice (washing machine) even though the school was told it did, so I was a little annoyed as this was an important criteria in making the decision about my accommodations. Cornelia, the German student in my class, had a similar experience.
The result is that I had to go to the lavanderia (laundromat) this afternoon which is about a 10 minute walk, across the river no less!
Once I got there I couldn’t remember anything about how these places work! There was a middle-aged man in there doing his wash and I started asking him questions and he wanted to know where I lived. When I told him I was American he asked, “Don’t you have laundromats in America?” (yeah, but…..).
The machines run on tokens (gettoni)! Is this coming back to anyone’s memory! I had to put money in a machine to buy tokens and then put the necessary amount of tokens in the washer and, subsequently, the dryer. The soap is automatically dispensed but there were no dryer sheets and my clothes came out all full of static!
The whole thing only took about an hour, so I suppose it wasn’t so bad!
All these little experiences reinforce how lucky I have been in life and it has been good for me to have these reminders!
At one stage I even considered taking my clothes home straight from the washing machine and not pay for the dryer and be ‘green’ as it is very typical for many Europeans (especially Italians, or those in warmer climates) not to have driers and hang their clothes out or use drying racks.
Ultimately, I figured it would all be too heavy for me to drag home on foot, so I splurged!