As anyone who has lived abroad can tell you, laundry is certainly one of the most challenging aspects of expat living.  It doesn't seem like something that would be a big deal, but it is.  It is a very big deal.
Ready to wash.  Detergent and laundry card are ready to go!
In Switzerland, each apartment building handles laundry differently. Some buildings, like ours (thank goodness) are first come, first served when it comes to laundry.  In other buildings there is a roster where one must sign up.  In others, there are assigned days for each apartment.  Typically when this is the case, each tenant is given full use of the laundry room for one day every three weeks or so!  Just to keep things exciting, it's a date, not a day that you're given.  So you might wind up having a Thursday, in which case you'd be at work most of the day and then tasked with cramming 8 or 9 loads of laundry in before midnight.  No thank you!

Regardless of when you can do laundry, there are all sorts of rules. In Neuchâtel, the laundry room was locked at 10 pm and all day Sunday. Apparently the concierge in that building was not aware that Sunday is the universal day for doing laundry. Apparently I had never considered laundry "work," nor lived in such a religious place.  Go figure.  

At any rate, I can't really read the rules in my current laundry room. Here's a sampling of the signs I'm wondering about.
I can see that I'm not supposed to do laundry after 10 pm.  Standard enough.  I wonder what the rest says.  Clearly there are some really bright ideas outlined in this rule list.  That man has a lightbulb over his head, that's how I know.
I did manage to gather from this sign that there is a washer and dryer for the red side and another for the blue side.  
It's helpful that this sign is in blue and the other one is in red.
Unfortunately, I couldn't remember what side I live on, so I just did my laundry in the empty machine, which is the red side machine.  Side of what you ask?  Oh, you'll see.

That's when the fun really began.  Do I put my detergent tablet in the little compartment up top or straight in with the clothes?  What does all of this mean?
Hell if I know.
In the end, I put my laundry tablets up top and it seemed to work out fine. Then I went upstairs and set a timer to make sure I am there the moment the cycle finishes.
Action shot.  I can't help but be puzzled by the total lack of suds.
On the way up, I checked to see which "side" I live on. Our apartment is up the stairs to the left, so it turns out I live on the "blue" side.  I can't believe it.  First load and I'm already breaking the rules!  
The lobby is nothing short of hideous.  A far cry from the lovely Silver Court!


  1. Haha! I LOVE it!!! I think next time bring Joel with you to translate :)

  2. Yes, bringing Joel is not a bad plan! Later I figured out that the washer can be switched into English. I don't care that it's for the "blue side," I will be using that washer from now on!

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