Most stores are shut on Sundays, so rather than becoming errand days, they are brunch-eating and museum-going days. I have also decided that they will make good laundry and housecleaning days, so this afternoon (when we returned from brunch and a museum) we set about learning how to use our washing machine, which is different from other washing machines I’ve used. To keep the appliance small, the drum is positioned upright, like a hamster wheel, and you access it by lifting the lid and then opening a little door on the drum. (When first you open the lid, you appear to be looking into a rotary slicer or cheese grater rather than a washing machine, but once you open the little door, it looks more familiar, which is comforting.)

Once Paul had a gander at the manual, we were able to figure out what was what: some basic translations of the buttons and symbols, half of which we could figure out and half of which were a bit opaque. The thing that confused me most was where to put the soap, as there were three compartments at the rear, not to mention the drum itself. (It goes in compartment II, the leftmost one, and there is, rather nicely, a setting for powdered detergent and one for liquid.) In the end, it seems to operate quite nicely, and I have now successfully done the week’s washing. As easy as the Lady Kenmore!

The drying, of course, will take longer (thank goodness we have radiators!), but I did discover that the white mesh object I thought was a shopping cart turns out to be a drying rack, so now it is set up in the kitchen, covered in clothes. Turns out I might not need that paracord and those clothespins I brought after all!


4 thoughts on “Waschtag.

  1. Welcome to Europa! Once you go home you’ll be struck aghast at the ginomorous wasteful behemoth you have to wash your clothes. Though you’ll probably be ecstatic at seeing a non dorm-mini-fridge and a dryer. Personally I’ve grown to like line-drying, and it’s much nicer to your clothes!

  2. Yes, the door to the drum is treacherous. I fear that one of these days I will pinch myself horribly on it when it springs open, or get a finger stuck between the drum and the rest of the machine (since the drum rotates freely). Fingerpoken indeed!

    But I do not mind the air-drying: we have radiators, too, which helps with the jeans and other heavy items. I prefer a real clothesline to a drying rack, and outdoor drying to indoors, but in weather like this, there really is no option but to dry your clothes inside. I do have a few knit shirts that need to be dryer-dried in order to bounce bank into shape — but I chose not to bring those with me.

    I do like large-capacity washers, though, especially when you have a household: how else are you supposed to wash the sheets and towels, or the whole family’s dirty clothes, unless you wash every few days? I can’t imagine using this thing for a family of four. Or any family with children. It would be a full-time job doing the laundry if this was all you had. And one great thing about apartments with laundry rooms, even when they are coin-op, is that you can do two week’s worth of laundry in two hours flat, by washing side by side. That is their one saving grace. I do hate spending the money, though, and having to always have a roll of quarters handy.

    Our refrigerator is not that small, really, definitely much larger than a mini-fridge, with a proper freezer, and crisper drawers. Smaller than your average American fridge, that’s for sure, but spacious for Europe. I’ll probably be glad for it. The farmer’s market is pretty rockin’.

    What I miss most of all are water fountains. They do not appear to have those here. I don’t know that I have seen a single one since arriving. And half the time, if you ask for leitungswasser at a restaurant, they give you a tiny cup of it, more juice glass than water glass. Very different. Perhaps easier to handle in the Berlin winter than it was when we were in Budapest in August (hot! dry! always thirsty! having to constantly pay for water!), but still something that takes a lot of getting used to. Thank God for my water bottle, my constant companion.

    1. The lack of water taps is indeed a bummer. I’ve grown to like Apfelschorle, Radler, and Alkoholfreibier at the restaurant.

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