Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Laundry here is, by the way, completely impossible.  It's like an obstacle course, full of physical challenges I'm not good at and with the power to break even the strongest will.  For one thing, we have to hook the machine up to the only kitchen outlet and to the only sink in the flat for the entire two hour ordeal.  And when I say "hook the machine up to the only sink," it is as inconvenient and as industrious as it sounds.

There's a part that detaches from the regular tap, and another part that you attach to the faucet so that the doohickies on the washing machine connect properly.  These are far too complicated for me to ever do quite right and well beyond my ability to describe, but the main bit involves a spring, latch, and ball screw.  You then turn on the faucet and, if all goes well, the pressure DOESN'T fling the pipes off and spray you and the kitchen with water.  But of course, it's a learning process, and that must happen several (dozen) times for you to learn your lesson.

There's also the matter of dragging the machine out from under the minifridge in the first place.  It looked easy when Mira did it on my first or second evening here as a demonstration, but like all Danes, Mira is several times more fit than me, and the process of unlocking the wheels at the bottom of the machine and dragging it the three feet to the sink was an arduous fifteen minute task itself.

But even if you manage to move the machine, hook it up to the outlet, and attach it semi-correctly to the faucet, there's still the fact that its powder detergent, liquid additive (still don't know how to translate the bottle-- maybe fabric softener?), and every itty bitty button are in Danish.  And don't be fooled by the numbered dial, because that's not minutes.  The Danish measure laundry time in SPINS.  Cycle spins.  Of your clothes.  Consequently, the numbers on that dial stand for degrees.  Celcius.  The temperature that the machine will turn your tap water in order to properly wash your clothes.

I just did my first load of whites, and so far so good.  I'm more apprehensive about the darks.  We shall see.  

DIS gives us Wednesdays free, which are usually to be taken up with field studies, but which for me today is entirely devoid of activities.  I've contented myself with wrestling the washing machine for three hours and singing "I Have Confidence" from "The Sound of Music" loudly to myself when cheerleading is needed.


  1. i'm cheering you on from across the pond!

    upon my arrival to urbana, i was told that my building had no washer and dryer at all. now i have to cart my clothes over to friends houses and deal with a new machine every time. i'm really into febreeze nowadays.

  2. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy my favorite musical ever!

    Not going to lie, I sing "I Have Confidence" to myself on a pretty regular basis. I'd sing "Whistle a Happy Tune", but despite your best efforts when we were 7ish, I'm still incapable of whistling.