Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 12

July 8, 2013

Several decades ago, researchers asked a group of housewives what the greatest invention of the 20th century had been. The overwhelming, majority answer may surprise you. It wasn’t the microwave, the atomic bomb, or a spaceship that could fly to the moon – it was the washing machine. The washing machine was so vital to the lives of everyday people, women in particular, because it saved them hours upon hours of what had always been a tiring process of washing clothes by hand.

I think you can see where I’m going with this…today was my first day doing laundry in France. I only brought enough clothes for a little over a week and am surprised I’ve been able to go this long without washing anything. Unfortunately our laundry facilities in the hotel are rumored to be broken, and I don’t have the time or money to find a nearby laundry mat. When Forrest’s suitcase had been lost for a week, she’d been forced to wash the same clothes every night in her bathtub with shampoo and hang them on her balcony to dry over night. This has become the preferred method of washing clothes for many of my friends on this trip. I woke up this morning meaning to go to Monoprix to find a string and some clothes pins to make the process a bit easier, but I couldn’t find any and decided to use our patio table and some chairs as drying racks instead. Washing clothes actually wasn’t too hard. I used our bathtub for washing, the sink for rinsing, and the patio for drying. If a washer and dryer weren’t so readily available in my apartment at home (and my bathroom were cleaner), I might consider simply hand-washing everything had it not taken so much time. To wash my week long supply of clothes took me about 45 minutes, when it would’ve only taken about 5 to put the same amount of clothes in a load in the washing machine.

I had class today from 11:00 to 3:45. I'd forgotten how much I hated summer school when I did it for a session last summer. At least then only one of my classes met in person. It’s not that my classes are particularly hard, they’re just extremely long and I get bored in them easily. I also need to start studying my French. I know a few phrases, but for the most part I’ve been relying on Molly and others to translate the harder things for me. I’m certainly not going to be fluent by the end of this trip, but remembering the grammar I’m learning in class should probably come in handy at some point.

Our regular International Business professor is teaching in Canada this week, so we have a substitute for three days who is talking to us more about the meaning of culture. I preferred what she had to say about cross-cultural negotiation as opposed to the lecture we got last Thursday; I just wish the class only lasted for 50 minutes. I'm not really sure how we're going to be tested on all of this in three weeks, but everyone I've talked to from previous years has said it was an easy class.

Besides laundry and classes, not much else is new. One of our friends really wants to get dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant tonight, so it’ll be interesting to see how similar or different this Chinese restaurant is to the ones I’ve been to in the US.

Lastly, it looks like our original plans for this weekend may not happen due to some cost issues. It would’ve been fun, but there are other neat places we can go. We may decide to stay in Nice or try to go to a new city in Italy (Molly and I have both been to Florence and Rome, and driving to my beloved Assisi is probably out of the question). We’re not entirely sure where we'll end up this weekend, but that’s part of the fun.

UPDATE (23:22 Central European Time/ 17:22 Eastern Standard Time): Molly and I have booked our tickets and hotel for this weekend and ended up spending much less money than we'd originally planned. The location wasn't our original choice, but we're both very excited to travel to some place new!!

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