Tuesday, May 25, 2010

French Laundry

No, not the restaurant.   Actual french laundry.  

I was thrilled this morning.  Woke up at the crack of dawn, caffeinated myself with some tea, mapped out by delicious itinerary for the day including a hunt for fabulous macaroons, a stop at a famous bookstore and ample time sitting around at a café down the street.   

My bright eyed self decided that since it was so early, I could squeeze in a quick laundry cycle first.     This weekend, I considered seeing if I could make it without doing laundry until I head home.  Although I loved doing laundry in Rome, the air drying process turned all of my clothes into stiff cardboard facades.   It has taken a week or so, but my various pairs of jeans are now all in the perfect state of softness and comfort.    Then, the past two days happened and everything sort of degenerated into comfort coated in dirt.   Not good.   So… laundry time it is.

I have no idea how to work the machine here.   It apparently washes AND dries.  Intriguing.  I play around with the buttons for awhile, crumple up some soap tablets in one of the three open slots and wait for something to happen.   Nothing happens.

I am not backing down.  I had already sorted my clothes and they are in the machine to stay until they come out smelling fresh and clean.    I search around the apartment for instructions.   There must be instructions somewhere.

The apartment guide has a huge caution written in several places.   Warning:   Do not use appliances until you have carefully read the instructions.   Right.  Thanks.

Consider checking the comments book from prior guests.   Sometimes these have useful tidbits.    Lo and behold, an entry dated back to sometime in 2008 giving precise instructions on how to use the machine.    Each button has a clear instruction.   Fabulous.  I give it a whirl.

The whirl started around 7 this morning.  I am sure my neighbors were thrilled when the machine kicked into high gear.    The thing is, it is now 11:15 and it is still going.   FOUR HOURS later.   Four hours.    There are a bunch of buttons still lit up and I see my clothes spinning around inside calling for me to rescue them.   I am tempted to disrupt the cycle but fear causing permanent damage.   Do not exactly have anything set aside in budget to cover this expense.  

Sigh.   My perfectly planned day is going down the tubes.    Oh, and did I mention that one of the lit up lights on the machine has 9h written next to it.    Please, please don’t tell me this means 9 HOURS.    

I miss my Rome laundry.   Even if it meant waiting 48 hours for my jeans to dry and having to break in crunchy undergarments.

Please note:   this post precedes a previously planned update on my visit to Montmarte this weekend simply because I am desperate.     

If there is someone out there reading this that has a clue as to what I’ve done wrong, please share.   It appears I’ll be here for some time… 


  1. Beyond happy to report that as of 1:30, my laundry is now done. This is after fumbling around with the buttons and restarting the entire cycle again about an hour and a half ago.

    They aren't dry... but they are clean. Finally.

  2. haha oh no! strange and confusing washing machine. I'm afraid enough of ruining my clothes in my regular machine, I'd be terrified of this one

  3. An adorable post. Glad you got your clothes clean and have no idea what to advise on how to get them dry. Your blog has reminded me of my first trip to Paris. Enjoy your stay. Lois

  4. oh dear! i was always suspicious of those dual-duty machines...
    my teeeeny little german washer took about an hour and a half to wash the approx 4 t-shirts one could fit inside. the dryer took anywhere from 1-3 hours to complete, and at least one emptying of the water condenser. i teared up a little when we bought our new (american!) ginormous capacity front loaders. :)

    hope you don't have to wash anything else, and bless that guest who left those instructions. how awesome and thoughtful is that?!

  5. You all make me laugh... :) As usual, such a good feeling that I am not alone in this. I am sitting here yesterday thinking what is wrong with me? How hard can it be to operate a washing machine?

    Kelli - I can totally relate to the 4 t-shirt comment. I find it so funny that they hold such tiny loads and yet take soooo long. Very inefficient! Congrats on the new one.

    On to the next challenge...

  6. This is so funny! We moved to Ireland 3 years ago for my hubby's job and encountered the same thing! No instructions and a machine the size of a hand towel (washing bed sheets - NOT FUN!)! We eventually figured it out (not sure how) but don't use the dry cycle - it really just heats up your clothes since it doesn't vent outside and will ultimately cook the life out of them. I come back to Canada regularly and adore washing everything in sight since my front load machine here can handle 20 bath towels at once! sweet!


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