Saturday, July 13, 2013

Irish washing machine 1 - Jessica 0

Travel books need to have less Where is the dentist, I'm going to have a full set of dentures made in your country type information. We need more practical things like What do all these symbols on the blasted washing machine mean? Washing machines in Europe leave me cowering in fear, slinking off to find a local to help me, as if I were a helpless seven year old. Or a man.

I thought being in Ireland, where stuff is written in English, it would be a breeze to figure out how to get our clothes clean. Instead, our kind hostess whipped the dirty clothes out of my arms, asked a few questions about hot or cold water and got them going. I was determined to prove I am not a laundry loser and hang them on the line myself, but alas, I was too late and she hung up our good smelling laundry to dry in some unusually pleasant Dublin sunshine.

It was time to prove I could do it, tell a machine what to do by pushing its buttons. Simple, right? I gathered our towels, found the detergent, added them into the machine and shut the door. Then came the hard part. Celsius? I need to know Celsius? All I know is that 40 degrees Celsius is a horrid Sacramento heatwave, but I don't know if that is hot enough to kill germs on towels and sheets. I picked a temp in the middle. Then I chose Quick Wash, less time to make a mistake, that was my thinking. The next choice was spin cycle. The choices were 3 completely confusing symbols and the numbers 1200, 900 and 600. Choosing the short cycle automatically picked 1200. I think that either meant it rotates a total of 1200 times or that their electric bill is going to be 1200 Euros, because I finally had to do a force stop from the endless spinning. The clothes were wet, they smelled like detergent and I decided to quit before they turned from towels to rags. I bow before the Great Washing Machines of Europe and the UK - I am powerless in their presence.

Oh Great One Which Spins

Our Dublin hosts

At the DC in Dublin. 

After a night out with our hosts that included the best vegan burger I've ever had, we took yet another night flight, this one to Romania. You know you're on a Romanian airline when they serve a hot meal on a 3.5 hour flight at 1 am. They don't mess around with food - no peanut packets on this flight. I was surprised at the large fairly modern airport in Bucharest. But just like houses in Rio Linda that have every broken down appliance ever purchased in the yard, Bucharest Airport parks large broken down jets out in the fields. 

After arriving we had a brief driving tour of Bucharest. The people begging for money at the intersections look like the homeless people at El Camino and Watt Avenues, but with more conviction and bravado. There is some beautiful architecture from the old days and lots of ugly Soviet era apartments. Our hosts at Bethel put out a beautiful breakfast spread for us with lots of coffee to get us through another day after another night flight.

On to our little hotel, not in Videle but in Mihaelest. It's clean, not quaint, but fairly quiet and it has a comfortable bed. I'm in need of some serious rest, my head is on spin cycle right now.

The Parliament Building

Breakfast at Bethel

Full of nice clean clothes
That Seventies Bed.

The view!