In America, I could wash my clothes at two in the morning if I wanted to. But here in France? Nothing is easy. I have to make appointments for everything and, yes, that includes my laundry. Today, I had my second laundry appointment. How does one make a laundry appointment? Well…
I live in a dorm with four buildings (Bâtiment A-D). Unfortunately, I do not live in the building with the reception desk or the laundry room. To make an appointment, I have to walk to the reception desk. There, I sign up for a day and time. There are very limited hours and, to make matters worse, there are only two washers and two dryers…for the four buildings that are five stories high. Two washers. Two dryers.
If you want to wash your clothes in a timely manner, you should sign up for an appointment as soon as possible. On the day of the laundry appointment, I walk down five stories with a bag of laundry and carry it outside and into another building (and, since I live in Nantes, it is almost always raining). I go to the front desk and pay 3.50 euro for the entire washing and drying process. The receptionist gives me a special coin to operate the washer (but there’s not a coin for the dryer) and a lump of weird laundry detergent.
You’re supposed to use this laundry detergent, but I already bought my own laundry detergent. I quietly accept the laundry detergent that they give me, but I use my own. Shh. Don’t tell anyone.
Like most things in Europe, the washer is small. Since it is difficult to get a laundry appointment, you would think they would have a big washer to accommodate a large load. Alas, this is not the case. The washer washes for an hour and you have to pick up your laundry immediately or else you will delay everyone else’s laundry appointments and they won’t be happy with you.
From the washer, you put the clothes into the dryer, which I’m not sure works. My clothes come out very wet at the end of the cycle. I can’t put them in again because, of course, someone has an appointment right after me. My only option is to hang my clothes around my room and hope they dry.
Oh well. At least I have clean clothes.
There are some things in America that I’ve taken for granted. One of them? The freedom to do my laundry whenever I want.