A few of my friends have commented that European countries are in general less convenient than is the US. At first, I kind of shrugged this off — what’s a little bit of inconvenience? Now, though, I’m beginning to understand how some of this affects me directly. (Not a bad lesson, mind you, just a change I hadn’t anticipated.)
When I was in France in 2005, I had to use a laundromat (to get to which I needed to walk seven minutes and take a tram for another five). This laundromat had dryers. One of the other study abroad students figured out that pushing the right combination of buttons would automatically add drying time… but that’s another story. My current apartment has a washer in the basement but no dryer. So ultimately, I needed a bag to tell me what was in it — and to dry my clothes the way my parents had only fifteen years ago. I’ve become very lazy… this is a silly (nearly moot) observation at first glance, but it makes me wonder — what does this imply about any complacency I may have professionally?
For the record, this isn’t a post meant to bemoan inconvenience. If nothing else, though it’s most definitely not nothing else, I’m learning to budget my time better, and that’s never a bad thing. (Ignore the inconsistency of my spending time here. Or spent taking pictures. Or spent trying to find a tripod. Or planning trips that involve only photography.)
I bought gloves (uh… yeah, pink — only color the Stuttgart Kronenstraße Rewe City had!) because my hands get really dry after doing dishes. I feel like my hands are small compared to, say, those of an adult, white European male, so I bought the small ones. They were way too small. It was impossible to get them off my hands normally, so I took them off inside out (hooray health in high school). When I flung one to get it to get back to normal, it decided to show me how it felt. (No, I didn’t decorate the apartment or buy its dishes — it’s a furnished apartment. And stop it with the pink gloves already!)
I still need to get out to the mountains and the rest of Europe. Stuttgart has plenty to see (… most of which I haven’t), but there are 2358 other countries in Europe and my list contains 2709 of them. Roughly 22 weekends left; ready, go! (in a while. Maybe a week. Or two.)