LAUNDRY MATS in Pau (July 11th)


I luckily don’t have to pay to do my laundry at a laundry mat (a major perk of being in a homestay). However, my friends in a dorm do. This past Monday I was with them on their first adventure with this process… it was awful!!!

I’ve done my laundry at laundry mats before and its not that difficult. Apparently though things are really different in Pau. There was also confusion…and regret…at mistranslating a word on the direction sheet on the wall. Here’s what happened: we show up about 15 minutes before the place closes. There is no attendant there to ask any questions too- like, is this too much laundry for the small machine? Or, how do we get the machine to work? Or, where do we get tokens/keys for the machines? (fyi- there are no tokens or keys) All of these practical questions which would have been helpful to know the answers to. We decided that you pay and get the key (since there were no change slots on the machines for a token)…WRONG!!!

Thanks to some guys who were playing soccer nearby (and had to check on their laundry…or just noticed that we had no clue what we were doing…not really sure) we found out how we were supposed to go about doing laundry at the laundry mat.

Here’s what should have happened: You load the machine. Shut the door properly. Put in your laundry detergent. Go to the pay-box. Press the machine’s number and then pay for the price of that machine. It starts automatically. (We wrote these steps down and gave them to the USAC office to add to their orientation packet… it cost 30 euro to do laundry. 15 of which was wasted by doing it improperly.)

Note on things occurring automatically: the whole laundry mat appeared to be automatic. A little after closing time the door let itself shut (I investigated and noticed it was electronically magnetized)…a few minutes later the lights turned off automatically. So, here we were a group of 4 young women in the dark afraid of being locked in a laundry mat for the night… lesson #2- do laundry earlier in the day!!!


written: July 13th


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