This week, Tuesday is my day off. (I say that as if I am working so much on the other days, right now I never work more than 6 hours a day… we’re working on that.) I started to think that meant a relaxing day finishing the latest book I borrowed from the local library. And then I thought of the couple of things that I had to get done today, which in the States would take maybe an hour. I needed to go grocery shopping, do some laundry, and make dinner since we have some friends coming over (yay friends!). I think a little insight into this simple day shows a lot about how life is different here. Life works at a slower pace here. There isn’t a quick and easy way to do most things. I’m learning to embrace that, to enjoy it, to work in it, and to learn from it. But, really, its quite different. I started my day by hurrying to put in the first load of laundry, because if I don’t get the first load in quickly, I won’t be able to get through more than one or two loads. Our washing machine likes to take about 2 hours to wash one load of clothes, and that one load of clothes is about 6 shirts and a pair of pants. There is a “miniprogram” setting that I have found that seems to only take about an hour… but I wonder what it is cutting out that makes it so much shorter? Are my 6 shirts and 1 pair of pants really getting clean? Would they be cleaner if I did the full program? Its hard to know since according to the manufactures website, our model of washing machine doesn’t exist and therefore has no manual. Then there is the spin setting. The washing machine spins the clothes about 1,000 times during the wash cycle–and sounds like its a space ship taking off– but yet they are still quite wet after the washing cycle, so sometimes I throw on an extra spin cycle, which is another half hour. So we’re up to about an hour and a half to two and a half hours just for the wash. Then as soon as its done (I’m looking at a done load right now…) I try to get them outside and hang them up on the line. This is trickier than it sounds too! How do you hold all the clothes and reach up to hang them (especially at my height)? I suppose a laundry basket could help this, since I don’t want to set them on the ground, which never dries and is growing mushrooms (should I be concerned about this? Anyone?). Then you get them hung, and it never fails that somehow the day I choose to do laundry its cold, cloudy, and there is no wind. Granted of course these are the ONLY days with no wind… But today I woke up, heard the wind, and saw the bright shining sun! A perfect day to dry my clothes outside!! So I started that first load, got them out there, and this load included all of our socks. Which I cannot figure out why, but are the things that dry the slowest. Jared’s big thick jackets dry faster than our socks. So today I tried taking out drying rack outside and placing it right in the sun, hoping that the socks would dry faster. But… the wind just blew the socks off of it. And then I went to the grocery store and came back, and they looked like this:
Oh what a hard life… But really, it is teaching me to slow down, to take in each day, to appreciate the days that I can open the windows and allow fresh air to fill our house. BRB, gotta go hang some laundry.
Bad news. The socks had blown over again. And I wore my slippers outside and forgot the grass is constantly wet. And all my socks are wet. hmm.
The other little thing I had to do today was buy some groceries. Just the basics, some veggies, milk, lunchmeat and bread, basically. I couldn’t buy much more than this, since I have to carry it all back. When we need a ton of stuff, I have Jared come with me so that we can both lug bags back. If I had any money, I seriously would have already invested in one of those old lady pull cart things (Sorry if you have one of those and find that offensive… Can I have it?) Yet going to the grocery store isn’t even all that simple. There is Tesco, which is in town, pretty convenient to run in after work and grab something, but they aren’t the cheapest, and its always SUPER busy in there. I can’t really enjoy my shopping experience there (Jared will shake his head at this). And, its nice that the location of our house is about half way between town and the other grocery stores. Today it took me 12 minutes to get to Aldi (I get bored walking and time myself), where I realised I didn’t have a pound coin, since I’d given all mine to Jared this morning. The significance of this is that you need a pound coin to use a shopping cart here. They have these neat little gadgets on them that you insert a pound, and it unlocks the cart. When you’re finished shopping, you lock it back up and get your pound back! But I didn’t have a pound which meant I was using a basket, not that bad except somehow we were out of potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, and bananas. That’s a heavy basket, plus it didn’t fit very well… but I just made it work. We like Aldi a lot, because its the cheapest grocery store here. It’s more like warehouse style, but not like Costco or Sams where everything is in big quantities. It is just arranged more like that, and things are just cheaper. But… there are some things they don’t have. Or that they run out of. Like today they were out of frozen chicken. And I needed some more speciality things which they didn’t have, so that means, check out, pack all my bags up, and walk up the hill a little further to Morrisons! I have yet to figure out if they care that I bring my other groceries into their store to shop… but they haven’t said anything, and no way am I walking home and coming back… Since I had paid in cash at Aldi, I had a pound to get a cart here! I got the things I needed, which included mould and mildew remover, which somehow we need already, and packed up my stuff to go home. I’ve figured out that the best way to do all of this is to bring my backpack, and two reusable bags. There were a bunch of reusable bags at our house when we moved in, which has been awesome! We were sad to leave our Trader Joe’s bags at home! Twenty minutes later, I was home, just in time to put out another load of laundry to dry.
Now its 2 PM, and I’m realising all I’ve done today is laundry and grocery shopping, and best of all, that’s okay. Life is different here, and I think I like it.