10 December 2011

A man's gotta do . . . his laundry

Today has been an exercise in patience.  I have been traveling now for a week and a half, and I needed to do laundry.  Looking around, it's been difficult to find a laundromat nearby, and I was going to take my laundry to a "full service" facility.  Upon arriving (after a much longer walk than I had anticipated), I was told that the clothes wouldn't be clean in time for me to have clean clothes for my quick jaunt to Paris next week.

Following directions from the lady who worked in the shop (that seemed pretty vague to me), I walked another 10 minutes in another direction, winding my way through the streets of the Kreuzberg neighbourhood (near Görlitzer station if that means anything to you), and finally found the laundromat. 

Once I figured out how to work the fully automated system of paying, I walked around a bit, bought a German newspaper and sat with my dictionary, slowly hacking my way through an article while drinking an Italian coffee at a cafe across the street.  I am very careful to note that it was "Italian" coffee because the purveyor of the fine establishment was Italian and insisted that the coffee came from Sicily and wasn't watered down like the other coffees one might get in the area. 

Anyways, once I finished my laundry (the whole process took about 3 hours, including the wandering around trying to find the place), I returned to my apartment for some saxophone practicing.  Then, I learned that the special offer that the German rail was having on a savings card (25% off for 4 months for 25 Euros) was ending today, so i went over to Ostbahnhof to purchase said card.

And I waited.  To "improve service" (so they said on their sign), you took a number and then waited for it to be called.  At the time I got there, my number I received from the machine was almost 20 above the number that was currently being served, and there were 3 people serving the customers, with one customer seemingly taking absolutely forever.  However, this annoyance made for some camaraderie (the spelling of that word doesn't look right to me) in line and people who had taken care of their business in another way, or had just given up waiting were giving their numbers to other people waiting. 

And so, after about 30 minutes, I finally got my Bahn Karte, and made my way home.  And here I am. 

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