Laundry and Neighbors


One thing about living in university housing is that our neighbors are not Swiss. I keep hearing about scheduled laundry days in a shared laundry room, and refraining from laundry during the quiet hours (over the lunch hour, after 22:00, or on Sundays), and I have not done laundry at those times, but I don’t think our neighbors would mind. In fact, I met the neighbors on the ground floor (we would call it the first floor) because I left a note in German and English above the washer and dryer the first week we were here asking if there was a schedule, and would someone be able to tell me how to use the machines.

The nice woman on the ground floor flat answered my note with a note of her own when she knocked and we were not home and said that she preferred to do laundry in the mornings, if that was okay. Then I wrote back to her, taping my reply to her door, and then we finally met. She is a Thai woman whose husband is an American who teaches at UC Davis. They have a 4-year-old son and have been here one month more than us. They’ve been having lots of company, so I haven’t seen very much of them. I occasionally hear the boy, but not much.

Back to laundry. By the time we really needed to do our first load of laundry, I had not met my neighbor yet, so both H and I decided we would figure it out together. Low and behold, there were four instruction manuals in the cupboard above the dryer – one for each language (German, French, Italian, and English). After I had a little lesson from H on how much 100 ml of laundry soap was, we pushed some buttons, and crossed our fingers. It worked! Then it said the laundry would be done in over an hour.

An hour later we repeated the process with the dryer. Turns out, it takes forever to dry clothes, and it’s because the machine stops and starts every 5 seconds or so. And by forever, I mean about 2 hours. 

Last week, the beginning of a new month, when I was talking to the property manager about the composting, he told me that we were going to have new neighbors on the first floor (which we would call the second floor). He changed the name on the doorbell, and we have not heard anyone since then. Either they have not moved in, or they are extremely quiet. I wonder if they will do laundry….


2 thoughts on “Laundry and Neighbors

  1. Ah yes, I remember the clothes rack we always had things hanging on in our German apt. It might be worthwhile for you to buy one; we would put ours next to a radiator or sunny window to finishing drying anything still damp from the laundry room ;-).

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