There's a handful of day-to-day activities that shake the vacation right out of me - and the mundane "real-life" reality kicks in. But around here even reality is foreign, and the user manual is all in Dutch.
I took my first trip to the wasserette the other day. I'm not going to lie - I was dreading it a little bit. I was worried that all the instructions would be in Dutch, the machines would eat my quarters (er, euros), I would shrink all of Didz's shirts and all our socks would end up pink. I seriously debated hand-washing everything in the sink to avoid going. But part of this adventure involves conquering fears - so I gave my head a shake, reminded myself that I am not the first person in the history of Belgium to go to a laundromat, loaded up my laundry bag with dirty clothes and my pockets with euro change and off I went.... praying the instructions would be written in pictograms.
I picked my machine, loaded up my laundry, added my detergent, picked "warmish" water, and closed the door. Then I stood for a minute (ok, two) trying to figure out how to pay for the darn thing... found the pay station machine on the other side of the room, walked up to it, stood in front of it for a minute (ok, five), pushed just about every button, inserted a variety of coins.... and pushed the green arrow. I turned around, and saw my laundry machine come to life, fill with water, and begin to spin. I admit, I kinda felt like a champ in that moment.... it's the little victories. I sat down, sent Didz a text message telling him his wife's a rockstar, and then I saw this:
Even their vending machines have waffles.... That did it for me. Double victory. Wasserette met wafles. I could go home happy.
I just had to figure out how to work the dryers....