As a baptized and confirmed LCMS Lutheran (with a couple years of parochial school) I had heard of the Diet of Augsberg and the Augsberg Confession. I’m not sure I can properly recount the story, but suffice to say Augsberg played a big role in Luther’s break from the Roman Catholic Church. The reformation happened (in part) right here.
On Tuesday we had breakfast, lolly gagged a lot, and visited the discount grocery for snacks (and underwear & socks in some cases). Bracken and I decided we couldn’t go another day without doing laundry, so we set out to do just that. Problem: we were about to discover that you can’t do your laundry in Germany. It just can’t be done.
A Google search told me that there was a “dry cleaner / laundry” about 5 miles away in a town called Schwabmunchen. We decided to take the van and drive there. I like to feature myself as a fairly competent driver, but in Germany I am unlicensed, uninsured, not fluent in the language or the use of metric distance and speed measurements. So I was a bit nervous getting behind the wheel…
We got to Schwabsmunchen and were immediately truck by how nice it is. Coffee shops, ice cream parlors, people shopping and working, this looked like a good place to spend some time. We found the laundry only to discover they didn’t do any kind of coin-op washing at all. We were out of luck. They told us Germany didn’t have laundromats. We drove around looking for a hotel or some place that might have public washing machines. No dice.
We decided to roll the dice and head up to Augsberg, a much larger city about 20 miles to the north. When we got there we found the University. Bracken wisely reckoned that a college campus was bound to have laundry facilities. We drove around a little and then found a place to park. I went in to a restaurant and asked where we could do some laundry. The nice lady told me there weren’t laundromats in Germany, but if we went over to the copy center, they might be able to help us. So Bracken and I went trudging across a busy student-filled college campus with bags of dirty laundry in tow.
We finally got to the copy center where a nice young man with a admirable command of the English language told us there were no laundromats in Germany. This made me feel a little bit frustrated. I said “What the heck do people do when they visit Germany for Pete’s sake?!?” He told us “Germans don’t want you to visit here. They want you to stay at home. They like to be lonely.” I started to like this guy. He told us he thought he knew of a place a little farther north where there were a lot of immigrants. He thought they might have some coin-op machines. I said “Great! Where is it?” To which he replied “You’ll never find it. It’s very difficult to get there.” Of course we didn’t believe him, and we were getting a bit tired of toting our stinking laundry sacks everywhere, so we persisted. Being a copy center, he was able to print up Google maps with zoom-ins, written instructions and everything. In hind-sight maybe we should have had him print the Englis version… We thanked the man and continued on our futile quest.
With me driving and Bracken navigating – with three pages of maps and directions – the vision of clean clothes was only a couple hours from reality. We headed into Augsberg to discover a wholly un-in-navigatible mishmash of streets that no sober, sane person could have designed.
After struggling along for a while, we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. In pretty broken English, the nice lady at the counter said “There are no launromats in Germany.” She did offer some directions for the address we had, which left us even more confused than we were before. After a bit more driving around, at long last we admitted defeat and headed back to Untermeitingen. We stopped in a kebab place that Bracken had seen earlier for a delicious late luncheon.
Back at the hotel, I washed some essentials in the sink and hung them to dry in the window. Brian and Bracken were headed to the Four Corners for supper and beer, and that sounded pretty good to me so I joined them. (There is a funny story about the bartender Monika and the translation of a German phrase that I’ll tell you if you ask me.)
Our host Marianne and her bartender Monika were so nice to us. When Bracken and I told them what we had spent the bulk of the day doing they just shook their heads and said “Tgere aren’t any laundromats in Germany!”
Have good times,