Keep in mind that you should never listen to me and that I am, in fact, an idiot. Some days are worse than others. It’s kind of like one of those recurring conditions that you can live with but they flare up every now and again making life tough. Like asthma, but idiocy.
The laundry room in Sweden can lead people to prove they are idiots. You’ll find everything from fights to small talk in the laundry room. Or you may find me locked outside of one in -13 degrees Celsius weather. That’s a fun little game that I like to play in the Swedish winter.
But it was the fights that I was worried about tonight. So far I have avoided any sort of conflict in the laundry room. There was the one girl who accused me of stopping her laundry halfway through the spin cycle and dumping them wet and cold next to the laundry machine, but it wasn’t me and she got over it. There was also the girl who refused to let me use the dryer even though she wasn’t using it but had booked the time. But I got over it.
The problem is that the laundry room can bring out the worst in people. Especially when they are creating gloriously passive aggressive (and aggressive) reminders to their fellow laundry doers. There’s even a book about it: Den som inte tar bort luddet ska dö! by David Batra
That’s why when I realized that I had left my clothes in the washing machine ten minutes past my time I was nervous. Ready for a fight in my bright orange sweat pants. I sprinted down to the laundry machine to see a girl leaving the laundry room with a guilty look on her face. Clearly she was up to no good. Luckily, she was about half my size and didn’t look like she would put up much of a fight. But my Swedish side came out and I apologized. Profusely. And was surprised to hear her apologize also. Profusely. I was the asshole that took her time. She shouldn’t apologize. Apparently she felt it bad form to move my clothes. Or maybe she was embarrassed by my unmentionables. Few things are as sexy as boxers with holes everywhere that I’ve been wearing for at least the last six years. She slinked out of the laundry room and I slinked in, moving my clothes to the dryer feeling strangely ok with being the bad guy.
I headed back to my apartment to make a phone call to my American credit card to make sure that it would be ok with me traveling a bit. No need to have them shut it down while out of the country. So a quick phone call and everything was as it should be. I had managed to stumble my way through without making an ass out of myself. Or so I thought.
Turns out that when the guy sitting in the US working tells you to have a nice trip, the appropriate response is not, you too. Because he is not taking a trip. At least not that you know of. Laughing your way through an embarrassing explanation after you realize what you’ve said does not help the situation. Nor do awkward good byes. But as I said, I am an idiot.
Welcome to Sweden. And my daily struggles with idiocy.
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