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Travels with Brianna: Doing laundry

posted by My so-called FABULOUS life: Brianna Glenn
Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 1:38pm EDT

This blog is about me. My life, athletic career, friends, family, dating life, adventures, travels, musings, and anything else I feel compelled to share. My life is sometimes fabulous and sometimes not but it's mine and I wouldn't change a thing.

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It’s been two months…two whole months of living out of one suitcase. That’s hard for any normal person to work with such a limited wardrobe, but as an athlete I sweat and roll around in sand in half those clothes so the opportunity to reuse that stuff is impossible. In fact, the laundry bag I keep all those clothes in is lethal. I feel sorry for any unsuspecting airport worker who goes rifling through my bag on a random check. Needless to say I must do laundry every so often. And that’s not always so easy. Finding an actual Laundromat is a goldmine. The opportunity to wash all your clothes at the same time with real detergent seems like one of life’s major blessings. But in the short amount of time we usually stay in a city, that isn’t always an option. So far this summer, here have been some of my alternative options…

In Germany I stayed in an apartment that had a washer/dryer but with German instructions and no interpreter. Nobody could figure out how to get the thing to work properly and once you put your clothes in the dryer it would stop every 6 minutes or so and start beeping. The smell in the basement prevented you from actually staying down there while your clothes washed, so I would go down 3 flights of stairs about 7 or 8 times during a cycle to re-start it. The day before I left, the neighbor finally told me the simple problem and how to fix it.

In Berlin I took two trains across town to use the Laundromat but was an idiot and all my whites came out with a blue tint. So the next day I trekked back with a bottle of bleach to try and salvage them. Some are passable.

I was getting ready for a meet a few weeks ago and realized I had no more undies. So I quickly washed a pair in the sink and dryed them with a blowdryer while I brushed my teeth and finished getting ready.

Speaking of washing in the sink…I do that often. If you have detergent...good for you. If not, regular soap or shampoo (anything in the soap family), will do. The point here is to try and get them clean enough. It also works best if you can set the stuff outside to dry. It will be a little crispy but that’s ok. Although I have had a few items blow away, so it’s best to secure them if possible.

*My last stop in Italy I was determined to do a good washing because I was pretty much out of everything. I finally set out with sketchy directions and a map from the front desk. I walked in the blistering heat, made a few wrong turns, asked directions from a multitude of people who spoke no English, and finally found what I was looking for: the Laverderia (Italian for Laundromat). It was 2:30 in the afternoon and the place was of course closed for siesta. So I left and came back at 5. I thought I was being sent to the Laundromat but this was in fact the Drycleaner. At this point I was desperate but she would not help me. She said a lot of stuff…I understood none of it. But she wouldn’t take my clothes so it meant no. I ended up paying the hotel to wash 3 things for about 20 bucks.

Right now I can make it another 2 days before I must deal with this problem again. I’m not going to bother with Italy today because it’s Sunday, and if you aren’t aware, Italians do nothing on Sunday and everything is closed. This seems a bit excessive seeing as how they already close down 3 hours a day, but maybe that’s just me. So wish me luck in Paris. If anyone knows the French word for Laundromat please pass it

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