Figuring it out

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I did wash today! Why is that a big deal, you ask?

Well, when visiting a city for an extended time, we prefer to book airbnbs versus hotels. For us, it’s much more interesting living among the locals versus staying at a hotel among travelers. That said, without room service and a front desk, a freestanding foreign apartment/home presents its challenges.

Is that bottle full of watery liquid for dishes or for laundry? Which slot does the detergent go in and is this one of those combined washer-dryers? We like to do some of our own cooking; ovens with foreign dials offer an endless state of perplexity. Think you know how to work a thermostat? Forget about it. Every place we’ve stayed at was unique.

So we figure it out. As soon as we arrive, we plug in our adaptors and hook up to the Internet. There are apps for the mathematically challenged (me!) to convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Google an appliance model and you’ll often find a translated instruction manual. You Tube videos (or calls home to your kids!) come in handy for figuring out coffee pots. Sometimes we wing it and sometimes you just have to ask.

After a week, we’ve identified our favorite places for bread, fresh fruit and groceries. We’ve discovered the walking shortcut to Frank’s municipal pool. We’ve mastered the Metro and know not to take the bus when you’re in a hurry. And, today, we did wash. Cheers to simple — yet somewhat empowering — victories!

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