dimanche, mai 20, 2007

Carla&Friends Day 2: Marché and Laundry Drama

Well, today was supposed to be a simple day, but the results were mixed. The plan was to get up early (to help the girls re-set their body clocks) and head off to the market at place des fêtes to stock up their kitchen with fresh produce. I had also noticed the evening before that they had a washing/dryer in the apartment, so I was also planning on bringing my clothes and my laundry detergent.

After packing a suitcase far too full with clothes and waiting for a break in the rain (which never came), I dashed out and over to the métro station. After lugging my surprisingly heavy load down into the bowels of the métro system, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten the laundry detergent. Well, fuck. I texted Carla, telling her that I was on my way, but had forgotten the detergent, and would pick it up at a grocery store near her place. Most of the grocery stores in my neighborhood opened up for a few hours Sunday mornings, usually from 9am to noon.

I got off at the Saint-Paul station, only to find that the two grocery stores nearby were both closed. In walked a few blocks, in the rain, to the Monoprix nearby, convinced that it would at least be open. No such luck. Defeated, I headed over to Carla's place. By then, it was already 10h00 and it was essential that we get there by at least noon. The market closes between 14h00 and 15h00 on Sundays, but most vendors start packing up much earlier, depending on how much they've sold. One of our group was still in her jammies, so we left her with instructions to buy bread at the local boulangerie, and the rest of us headed off to market.

At the market, Carla and I succumbed to the acquisitive hypomania that always overtakes us at places like this. While Carla bought more flowers than there were vases at the apartment, I picked up kilos of onions, potatoes, cheese, fresh veggies, eggs, fruit, and so on. I even picked up a roast chicken with the intention of making my increasingly-famous chicken salad. On the way home, I left the girls on the métro platform for a moment, while I dashed back to my place, picked up my laundry detergents (along with a whisk for making mayo) and rejoined them.

After a long trip back to the apartment (including a short detour into a corner store to buy oil, which resulted in me knocking over a bottle of beer and cutting my thumb on it), I threw a load of laundry into the machine and started making a very late brunch. By about 3pm, we sat down to some warm chicken salad, some purple potato salad, some fresh frisée, gariguette strawberries, cheese, bread and so on. We stuffed ourselves silly, then relaxed for a bit. The laundry machine was taking indecently long to finish, was rather reluctant to let us open the door when it seemed to be finished, so the girls went for a walk while I struggled with the machine.

After trying various methods of jiggling the handle, jiggling the door, pushing and pulling and doing everything but a !@#$ing rain dance, the door finally opened with a simple tug. Relieved, I opened the door only to find that the contents were pretty much wet. At this point, it was nearly 5 hours after I first started the machine. With a sigh, I put back half of the load and set it to dry again.

What I didn't realize then, was that that would be the last I would see of that pile of clothes until at least Friday. When the load of laundry finished drying, the door wouldn't open again. The handle was still as loose and seemingly ineffectual as before, and I tried my best to figure out what the "magic" move was that made the door open earlier. Eventually, I realized that the handle was too loose. I gave it a jiggle and a tug, and the whole thing slid out. A quick look at the jagged edge of the plastic on the business end of the handle made it clear that the thing was broken. Well, great.

I then spent the next couple of hours trying to find a way to force open the door without damaging it. I could see the spring mechanism that locked the door, but I couldn't get at it at the right angle to make it open. Finally, at some point near midnight, I gave up, wrote an email to the apartment owner on behalf of my sister, packed my dirty laundry back into my suitcase, and headed home.

I omitted to mention that there was a techno night going on at Le Triptyque, with various artists from Ghostly International playing, including Matthew Dear. Somewhat oddly, but perhaps appropriate for a Sunday night, the party started at 19h00 and ran to midnight. If it wasn't for the laundry debacle, I would've been there, but instead I got to hear about it from Anatoly the next day. Grrr.

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