Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Laundry is Serious Business

I have spent the last week trying to gain access to the state of the art,  twenty first century communal laundry room downstairs. 

Swedes take their laundry room seriously and I found this out at the Stay at Kista Hotel I recently stayed at.

Me: I'd like to get a key to the laundry room

Mean Front Desk Clerk who Clearly Holds Americans in Disdain: Do you have a time booked?

Me: No, is that necessary?


Me: Well, then, I'd like to book a time.

MFDC: For when? (pulling out giant ledger and pen)

Me: Right now would be good. 

MFDC: Ten o'clock!

Me: Ummm, OK. (noting that it is about 9:45)

MFDC: But, DO NOT use this key before ten o'clock because it will INVALIDATE the key before you.

Me: mmmkay, uh, yes, ofcourse....

I retreated back to my room and watched the clock until ten where I was met with an entirely empty laundry room. I had figured as such.

This laundry room has a complex computerized booking system and scan cards. Of the four times I have tried to gain access, I have been successful only once. This is not small feat considering the entire system is in Swedish.

I want regular access to this wonderland of laundry so badly I can not stand it. The machines are state of the art, stainless steel European beauties. There are machines in there--I don't even know what they do--I just know I wanna use them. Strange looking contraptions meant to do wonderous things to fine European textiles, I imagine. OK, so I have never actually seen these fine European textiles but I am sure that I have read that they they exist. 

Oh no, this is not your college laundromat.

The room stares out tauntingly at me as I press my face to the glass longingly looking in. Something like a slick IKEA advertisement, it's almost like it's laughing at me---teasing me that I am resigned to use the old washer in the Flea Market upstairs.

The washer upstairs works well enough, though it's a mystery to me why it takes 90 minutes to wash a load of clothes. Why there is no dryer, a common scenario in Sweden, is yet another. I have noticed that there is an appliance store less than a block away. Skip the yearly trip to Cyprus or Phuket and get a dryer. Alas, it is the European way. Why make things easy when it is so much harder to keep them difficult?


  1. Mean Front Desk Clerk LOL!

    Does this booking a time thing mean that you can only do your laundry at 10pm EVERYTIME?

  2. Nah, you can book in advance far as I can tell. I have been getting in to use it but I only use the dryer. So, I go down there and if it's open, I use it. I can't plan that far in advance.