I had to go to the laundromat today. My washing machine isn't big enough to handle my duvet. I woke up this morning because of a wet spot. On my duvet.
Get your mind out of the gutter!
One of those damn kittens had peed on my duvet. Damn kittens. Can't have anything nice.
I thought I would carry my duvet down to the dry cleaners after lunch. When I got down there, I saw a sign: CLOSED from August 15th to September 5th.
I should have known. France all but shuts down in August.
I went a bit further down the street and came to the laundromat. There were three washers, each with varying capacities and costs. I decided to choose the middle washer, because it wasn't too big or too small.
(Oops, wrong story). But the big bad machines didn't give change! A small sign said that change could be had at the tobacconist down the street or the salon de toilettage. Since the salon was closer, I went there.
I have no idea if the concept exists anywhere but France, because I've never owned a froufrou dog. I'd never entered a salon de toilettage before today. I could see a poodle harnessed to a table. It stood there looking at me, and made some semi-yapping noises. I hate poodles. I noticed that there was another poodle harnessed to a table behind it, and I started to wish that I'd had my camera with me. I said "Bonjour" to the person behind the counter. It took me a minute to realize someone was even there because of the dogs and the fact that the person in question was kneeling on the floor behind the counter. I finally noticed her ass.
I asked for change, and she fumbled about. "I just got back from vacation today, so I'm pretty empty." (Did I tell you that the entire country of France is on vacation in August?). The woman told me to hold on and jogged to the florist's across the street. Now, I knew this was a small town, but this clinched it for me. A business owner ran across the street to try to get change for me, a complete stranger who hates poodles. The three poodles that were waiting to have their hair done looked at me. Yes, there were three; I noticed the third one while the woman was at the florist's. I told myself "I have to blog this, and damn! I wish I had my camera." I could have been robbing the salon owner blind, but instead I was staring at poodles. The third one quaked as it stared back at me.
Salon lady had no luck at the florist's. I told her I'd walk to the little grocery store up the street (because the tobacconist was closed
for another 15 minutes until 3 pm, welcome to France), and she offered to keep my duvet for me. I thanked her and walked home to get a book and then to the store for change.
When I went back into the laundromat, my jaw dropped. Both the medium- and large-sized machines were in use! The machines are calibrated for weight, and the smallest machine had a limit of 5 kilos and a cost of 2.50€. I looked at the tag on my duvet. Total weight: less than 5 kilos! Yay!
My triumph was cut short when I realized that the duvet didn't fit in the machine.
So I sat there. And read. And waited for one of the other machines to get freed up.
And one did. The large size, the 6.50€-a-load one. The detergent was included in the price. I could add fabric softener if I wanted*. I didn't have any on hand.
I got my duvet washed and partially dried (hey, at 50 euro cents per 5 minutes, I figured I could finish drying it at home) and walked up the street.
I passed the dog salon. The same three poodles were still harnessed to their tables. They looked a lot fluffier, though.
*It is recommended that when you wash a goosedown duvet, you add three times the normal amount of fabric softener to the wash. Now I know why. My duvet stinks of wet feathers instead of cat piss. I'm going back to the laundromat tomorrow, and I'm taking a bottle of Cajoline with me.