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27 September 2007

Laundry Day

One thing I didn't anticipate about living in London: The massive inconveniences people here put up with on a daily basis.

For one example let me retell the story of today, when I did my laundry.

I didn't have exact change. There was no change machine in the laundry room (which is outside my building, by the way, so I have to haul my laundry down three floors and across the street).

So I went to the student convenience shop just across from the laundry to ask for change. The cashier very curtly told me "no" and pointed to a sign saying "We do not give change." Geez.

So I go to the residences office, right next to the laundry room. Again, a resounding "no," because they don't carry cash. I was directed by the first cashier that there's a change machine in the library, so I walk all the way to the library (which is like a 5-minute walk), leaving my laundry just sitting on the floor of the laundry room. Finally, I scan my card to enter the library (you need your ID to get into any building), and ask for the change machine.

I put my 5 pound note in. It gets spit out.

I try again. Spit out.

I try again. Spit out again!

At this point I'm beyond annoyed. I hastily smooth out the bill and put it again one last time.

[An eternity passed - I could have War and Peace, solved a rubiks cube, and roasted a whole turkey.]

Five £1 coins spat out of the machine.

And so I was able to do my laundry. The world was saved from me wearing dirty clothes for the rest of the school year.

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