I’m going to tell you a story every day for the week.
During the summer of 2002, I had an internship in Stuttgart with Behr GmbH. It was part of the MIT-Germany program. My time there had many classic fish-out-of-water times; this is not one of those.
I stayed in a hotel for the summer, in an Apartment Zimmer. Basically it was a normal, non-suite hotel room except when you opened one of the cupboards there was a tiny kitchen inside. Kitchens in third world rondavels are more equipped than this. Needless to say it didn’t have laundry facilities and the hotel’s were far too expensive for a student budget.
One Friday I rushed off to a laundromat (ein Wäscherei) to get some laundry in while I had the use of the Opel Astra from work for the weekend. I didn’t have much time, though, another person from the program was arriving by train at 7:30 for a weekend adventure, and you know those German trains are on time.
I walked in. “I möchte meine Kleidung waschen.” Ja ja said the old German couple who ran the place. I sat and waited for my clothes to be washed. As the wash cycle continued I got more and more agitated; it was getting closer and closer to 7:30pm and I didn’t want to be late. I announced that I didn’t need them to be dried after all, I’d take them wet. I paid and as soon as they finished in the washer, I gathered the still wet clothes and practically ran out to my car.
From behind me I heard “Hallo! Hallo!” (Hello! Excuse me!) It was the old man who ran the place. He was run-waddling down the street waving a pair of my wet briefs wildly in the air. Red-faced I thanked him and rushed off.