Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mishap Two of Two on the Alpine Tour

We had a great time overall and, again, I'm so thankful that we didn't have anything really bad happen the whole time we were traveling abroad.

We'll just call it The Salzburg Situation. The Situation started when we couldn't find any laundry facilities during our first 10 days on the trip. We ended up doing our first bit of laundry in the sink and then let it air dry. If you've never had to do this, I encourage you to just try it once for fun. Oh, wait. It's not fun. It makes for crunchy undies. Good times. Let me just say that we were very much looking forward to the laundry facilities that we knew were awaiting us in our Salzburg apartment rental.

As soon as we got to the apartment in Salzburg, we asked the woman giving us our key about the laundry. She said something about 10-cent pieces and easy and in the basement. No problem! Beep and I headed to the basement on a reconnaissance mission. We found the washer and dryer with no problem, but they were currently in use. However, it was not yet a Situation. We could wait until someone else finished.

We headed down later and found that the other person using the washer was just getting her laundry out of the washer and so we waited for her to finish and put our load of whites in right after she was done. We couldn't see anywhere to put money in, but the washer started, so we figured it would just work.

We waited 45 minutes and Beep and I went back to get the wash. When we got to the laundry room, it looked like the wash was done. It was a front loading washer, so we had to push a latch button to open the door. We pushed. Nothing happened. We noticed all the lights on the machine were dark. We pushed every button on the machine. Nothing happened. It was becoming a Situation! Our laundry, our WHITES, were stuck in the washing machine. We pushed every button again. Nothing! It was definitely a Situation.

We went back to the apartment and the DH had to go see if he could fix it. We pushed every button again. He tugged on the door. He yanked on the door. I feared for the door! Things were getting tense. Our WHITES were held hostage in the washer. We thought. We reasoned. We realized there must be somewhere to put the money in that we had heard about. We looked around, but couldn't find anything in or on the washing machine. We looked around the room and saw only what looked like a breaker box. We read the instructions (sort of) that were in German and very unhelpful. We pushed all the buttons again. The DH was ready to pull the machine apart to extricate our laundry. By this time it was after 11:00 at night, so we couldn't easily ask anyone for help. At that, we decided to go to bed. It was the only thing we could do.

I fretted all night. All that fretting paid off at some point though. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the problem was in the paying. This Situation required that we pay the 10-cent fee. After thinking more, it became clear that paying sent the electricity to the machine and that our laundry probably hadn't gone through the whole cycle. The person before us had some time left when she took her laundry, so we just got the leftover time that she had paid for.

Since I was awake fretting anyway, I got up around 6:00 and went down to the laundry room with a handful of 10-cent pieces. I stood calmly in the room and looked around. All I could see was what looked like a breaker box, but I opened it up. Inside were two meters labeled "washer" and "dryer" in German. Breakthrough! There was also an instruction sheet on the inside of the door that indicated that one 10-cent piece bought 14 minutes of electricity. I put 3 pieces in. I turned to the washer. Nothing happened. I pushed some buttons. Nothing happened. I started getting tense again. The Situation was not yet under control!

Then, I heard footsteps on the stairs. I looked out and there was a woman picking up her newspaper. I called to her in German. This was one time I really had to speak German and do it right. She came down and I told her that I couldn't get the washer to start. She looked at the washer, then looked at me, then laughed and pushed the power button.

It's not funny.

I wasn't laughing at all, but she thought it was just the cutest thing she'd ever seen. She then went on to tell me all there was to know, plus a little extra, about doing laundry there. It was quite informative.

The Situation was over. The laundry continued its cycle and we threw it in the dryer half an hour later and did a second load of laundry before leaving for the day. It was about as easy as any chore could be.


Nicole said...

Doing laundry by hand is good character building. I did for a year and a half on my mission and hopefully my character is strong enough and I never will have to do it again. :) Sounds like an amazing trip.

liz j said...

Oh that is just hilarious!