In a reply to one of Munira’s comments I mentioned that we had no washing machine in our unit in Berlin and that there was no laundromat near-by either. So I had to wash all my things by hand whereas Peter could give his shirts and trousers away, leaving them in a shop around the corner and picking them up again five days later. We assume the items were probably sent to Poland for washing and ironing because labour there is cheaper!
I forgot to mention to Munira that during the sixty days, that we were in the flat, a woman came in, but only twice to change our bed-linen and supply us with fresh towels. We did our own cleaning of the place. Not exactly a five star service but then we didn’t have to pay for five star service either! We were quite happy with the arrangement. We were supposed to regard our place as a furnished rented flat and not a hotel. So we were really grateful that all the bedding and towels (including kitchen towels) were provided.
However, to have to wash my things by hand did take a bit of time to get used to. There was only a small basin in the bathroom. Most of the time I had to use the bathtub to do my washing in. I could use a plastic bucket to put in the bathtub. However, this meant I had to bend down quite a bit! I kept thinking about it how in the old days, when people didn’t have washing machines yet, a lot of the washing was done by hand. For larger items boilers were used. The nappies used to be washed in boilers too. With three babies under three we used to boil up a lot of nappies!
Gradually I got used to the task at hand. Remembering the old days I was glad that at least I didn’t have to use boilers any more! The bathroom was always pleasantly warm and there was always hot water out of the tap. I could dry my washing on some clothes lines above the bathtub. These clothes lines could be pushed against the wall out of the way when they weren’t needed.
Come to think of it, there was one other thing that was a bit difficult for me, being not a young chicken any more. I’m speaking of taking a shower. Imagine the shower was above the bathtub! That means when I wanted to take a shower I had to stand in the bathtub. Climbing in and out of the bathtub was sometimes a bit difficult for my old bones. I just had to do it carefully and slowly. Once I was sitting in the bathtub and had difficulty getting out of it. So I called Peter and he gracefully helped me out!
After exactly sixty days our time was up at the apartment in Berlin. My brother came to pick us up and take us to his place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The dwelling place he provided for us was somewhat different from the small place we had had in Berlin. Peter has a few pictures of it which I am going to show in one of my next posts.