So, I'm sitting here in the communal TV room/library, waiting for my laundry to finish washing. After that, it will go into the dryer for an hour (old dryer), at least, those things that can be dried will go into the dryer. When I say 'things that can be dried', I don't mean everything but things that say 'do not dry' on the label. I mean everything but things that matter if they shrink - because EVERYTHING shrinks in this dryer: pants (I thought I was getting fat, even as I was going to the gym every day, but it turns out my pants suffered the same fate as my shirts), shirts (as mentioned), camisols, sweaters (or jersies as my South African roommate calls them, or jumpers as the Australians and English call them), and clothing in general. So, what do I actually put in the dryer? Hm...come to think of it, I'm not sure.
Amongst my current group of fabulous friends, there exists a word that we use to describe the process of doing one's laundry: m'see'ma. It means 'mission' in Hebrew. As in, "Why is it such a bloody mission to do laundry here?!"
Allow me to describe the process of succeeding to do laundry here:
1. Sort clothing. If you're lazy like me, or if you only wish to participate in said mission for a couple of hours, then you put everything together but the real delicates, which you hand washed in the sink a few days ago.
2. Remember to take ID card downstairs. This is to give to the guard who will give you the key in exchange for said card.
3. Take laundry downstairs.
4. Remember after you get to the bottom floor (two floors down) that you left your laundry card for the machines upstairs.
5. Go upstairs to get said laundry card. Take a few shekels with you to put on card in machine near front door.
6. Go downstairs to get laundry and put money on card.
7. Walk outside, get halfway to guard stand and realize you forgot to put money on card.
8. Go back inside and put money on card.
9. Go back outside to the guard stand at entrance to ulpan and open the window, sheepishly showing the guard your laundry, hoping to god he has the key.
10. Guard points to someone else's card, who has gotten there before you and who has said key (there's only one key. God knows why, don't even ask me why there is only one key).
11. Recognize said key-snatcher and spend up to five hours tracking them down (Usually it doesn't take five hours, although I personally experienced needing to do laundry when someone had taken the key into town with them. They returned the next morning. I was angry.). Thank God, tonight it took but two minutes to find pretty Brazilian key-snatcher.
12. Enter laundry room with coveted key (usually, when someone gets the key, their friends - surprise - get it next and next and so on). Put laundry in machine. Reach for laundry soap. Groan. As usual, you have left the soap in your room, two stories up.
13. Go to other building. Go inside. Go upstairs. Retrieve renegade, loner laundry soap and some fabric softener sheets. Return to laundry room. Two hours and one cardio workout later, begin washing laundry.
14. Return 45 minutes later (the washer should be done by now). Wait for five minutes until laundry stops.
15. Move wet laundry from washer to dryer. Some falls on the dirty floor. You wipe it off, but the stain remains.
16. Begin dryer. Put it in for an hour. Remind yourself to come back in 40 minutes, to prevent clothing catching fire or coming out as baby-wear.
17. Return to take clothes. They're hot and burn your fingers (ouch!). You take them back to your room, lay them out to cool, collapse on your bed and try to motivate yourself to work, study, do something productive!!
No wonder I don't get anything done!