Thursday was “Organization Day”!! Michael spent all day at CIBIO at the symposium. I dropped him off in the morning and set out for my first drive in Portugal. I had decided that I was going to drive thru the CIBIO facility and exit thru another (wider) exit. As soon as I drove out I was met with an oncoming bus on a fairly narrow road…..this was REALLY not what I had planned.
I found driving to be fairly easy and was able to follow the GPS well. However, I really needed a GPS once I got into the laundromat!!! Instead I had a super sweet young woman who spoke NO English but still was able to guide me thru the entire process. It is a fairly small place with only 8 washers and 5 dryers, but they are highly advanced and fancy!!!
….where you make your payment and select which machines you are using. The first thing that I noticed was that it was a lot more expensive to pay in cash. I could, however, purchase a pre-paid card and save 1 or more Euros on each load. The young woman helped me to load up the card and make my first payments.
She also advised me, with pointing and smiling, that I should put one of my loads into a smaller washer so that it would be less expensive.
Once you push start, you cannot open the machines and the soap and softener is dispensed automatically….no need to carry a box or bottle with you!!
The machines are very efficient and are apparently set on a spring so that they can bounce when the spinning process is going on…..
The washing process took about an hour and I moved the items into a dryer. Once again, I returned to the pay station and selected which dryer I was using and also had to select how many minutes I wanted. Since it was a fairly large load of clothes (by our standard), I pushed 45 minutes. The young woman frowned, shook her head and pointed to 30 minutes. I acquiesced to her expertise, but was thinking that there was NO way that they would be dry in that short of a time. When it came to the towel load, I let her select the time and she pushed FIFTEEN minutes…..NO way!! However, she was completely correct and everything came out dry, fluffy and smelling wonderful!!!
The attendant also showed me what the internet password was and I have to say that the signal was better there than at our house in Georgia!!!
Even with the pre-paid card, it was a fairly expensive proposition, costing about 18 Euros for washing and drying two loads. But, it certainly beats doing them by hand and having them drying all over the apartment!!!
I drove home, had lunch, had a short nap and spent the rest of the afternoon getting the apartment better organized. I found a table that we moved into the Living Room and turned it into our “charging station”. It was big enough to hold both of our computers and phones and was placed close to a series of plugs. This was SO much better than having all of our electronics sitting on the floor!!!
As I was sitting in the laundromat,I had realized that I had not brought some of the clothes, so when I got back to the apartment, I started searching for them. I became more and more agitated as I wondered HOW I had managed to lose a stack of clothes in such a small place. You readers are probably ahead of me, but I finally remembered that we had taken some clothes to the Cleaners down the street on the first and that I hadn’t completely lost my mind!!!
On the way back to pick Michael up, I stopped at the Supermarket and spent some time trying to plan possible meals and buying snacks etc.
Michael had eaten a large lunch and wasn’t particularly hungry for dinner, so I popped a small (2 serving) Lasagna into the oven and enjoyed half of that, along with a magnificent salad with Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
We spent the rest of the evening, reading, relaxing and enjoying our apartment by the sea!!!