The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
Laundry Day in Nolay

Bon Annee, mes amis. (That means Happy New Year, my friends).

You always want to get a clean start to a new year ... and for us, today, that meant doing the laundry! Thus we segue neatly to the adventure du jour.

One of the amenities that comes with this apartment is a washer and dryer. Now clothes washers are fairly common in Europe but dryers are a rarity. The more common practice is the old-fashioned (and ecologically correct) one -- hang the clothes out to air dry. This works quite well unless the temperature is below freezing for weeks at a time ... and that's precisely the definition of a Burgundian winter. God bless the dryer! At least I won't have to thaw out my underwear!

This all sounds good as far as it goes, but there are (always) a couple of quirks. The first is that the laundry equipment is in the back of the antique shop downstairs, meaning that we go down the hall, down a half flight of stairs, through an ancient 18" doorway, down a few more steps, around the counter and through the jumble of the shop, being painfully careful not to break anything. See the photos to get a bit of the flavor of this trek.

The second quirk is that for some unexplained reason, washing machines in Europe take hours to complete the wash cycle. Really. Hours. Nobody (and nothing) is in much of a hurry around here. Third, the operation of the machines is very different from the logic we are used to in the US and all the information is in French anyway, so we have to guess a lot.

Then, of course, we have to thread our way back and forth through the maze frequently to check on the status of the job since we are never quite certain if we have guessed right. Fortunately, the shop is closed today. On top of all this, the capacity of the machines is small, so we are looking at multiple loads to get caught up.

OK, so we're halfway through the trip and we need to wash most everything we brought to make it through the rest of the week. My original thought was that we would run one load through, head out for awhile and finish up a second load when we got back. The reality of it was that -- for reasons previously noted -- we have spent the whole day doing laundry. I'm talking nine hours elapsed time!

(What was that I said yesterday about the zen of BEING? That concept got a severe test drive today!)

Since today is Saturday and who knows what will be open on a Sunday, I made a run to the boulangerie this morning to stock up on that incredible quiche. It is a whole lot easier (and certainly tastier) to nuke a thick wedge of quiche than to cook up something ourselves.

That was OK for breakfast, but I still entertained thoughts of dinner at a local cafe. By the time we got the last load out of the dryer, though, Margene had decided it was far too late in the day to change out of her pajamas. So its a good thing we have that stash of quiche in the fridge! I would hate to think of what we would do if we were stuck in a hotel room!

Le Route de Laundry

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