For the first time in more than 10 years. I'm living without a washer/dryer in the house. This is how I did laundry today:
1) Put dirty clothes in laundry bag. I haven't separated whites from coloreds in years, and I see no reason to institute an apartheid policy now.
2) Search the apartment for the towels, which absolutely have to be washed.
3) Empty the laundry bag on the floor. The towels have been in there all along.
4) Put dirtier clothes back in laundry bag.
5) Lug laundry bag down four flights of stairs. Enter laundromat.
6) Look in bag for detergent. Realize that the detergent is still upstairs. Lug laundry bag up four flights of stairs.
7) Return to laundromat with clothes and detergent. Search pocket for quarters. Wallet is upstairs. Lug laundry bag , etc..
8) Get change from Russian lady who owns laundromat. A lifetime of Soviet indoctrination can keep hidden the sullen look on her face.
9) Read instructions on washing machine. Read instructions on washing machine. Read instructions on washing machine a third time.
10) Ask sullen Russian lady how to operate washing machine. Russian women become unsullen, actually helpful. Russian woman believes I am newly divorced, separated, widowed, or mildly retarded.
11) Follow washing machine instructions by rote, like Rainman. Use detergent.
12) Climb four flights of stairs, return detergent.
13) Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
14) Shift clothes to dryer. Dryer instructions are simpler - "Put clothes in dryer." Eight minutes per quarter dollar.
15) Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
16) Remove clothes from dryer, fold.
17) Lug clothes up four flights of stairs.