Frau does laundry on Mondays. "Does Laundry" means that she throws everything we give her in the washing machine. Needless to say I don't have any clothes that are really white anymore. When it's done she pulls it out and puts it in a bucket. It sits in that bucket until we come home that night and hang it up on clotheslines in the attic.
I needed to do laundry today. I'm leaving tomorrow and have a weeks worth of dirty clothes that I need to take with me. I couldn't do it at home for two reasons: 1) asking Frau if I could do a load of laundry would be suicide and 2) it wouldn't be dry in time anyway. So I decided to go to a laundromat.
I arrived at Clean & Green with no idea what I was doing. I walked around the small room with 14 washers/dryers and asked everyone "Sprechen Sie English?" "Nein". Okay great. I walked to the computer where you pay and started fumbling. Finally a group of 3 men came up and took pity on me. The leader of the band communicated that I had to put my clothes in a machine that was apparently a washer. Then another helped me pay on the computer. Then the last one pointed to his box of soap. I don't have laundry soap so I told him "Ich habe nicht". He then opened the washing machine and put some of his in. The leader came back to turn a few knobs and my clothes were being washed.
The leader tried to strike up a conversation.
"Me? Oh no. Ich komme aus Amerika."
He pointed to himself and his crew"Macedonia"
"Oh that's really cool! Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"
I laughed very loudly. We really had no way to communicate.
The Macedonians laundry were finished. They headed out the door but before leaving each one kissed me on the hand and said "ciao". Ciao back at you Macedonian men.
My laundry finished and I had to conquer the dryer. This time I was on my own. I put my wet laundry in the dryer. I went to the computer and started pushing buttons. I put some money in. I pushed the power button on the dryer. Nothing. So I went back to the computer and pushed more buttons. I pushed the power button again. The dryer started to rumble. And so I had conquered the laundromat.