Laundry Day in New York City: the big schlep. Apartments don’t come with washing machines in the City, so laundry must be hauled — to the basement if you’re lucky, a neighborhood laundromat if you’re not. Here’s hoping a machine is free. Measure, pour, pay. Count ceiling tiles, thumb a book, head to the corner for a slice. Hurry back or find your sopping wet chones dumped on a chair to make room for some impatient jerk’s pajamas. Ignore the crackhead trying to show you what’s inside his belly button. Schlep home, catch the hot whiff of intoxicating soap and water aroma as it huffs from the laundromat’s air ducts. Hands down, one of the best smells in the city.
Laundry Day in Japan: clouds part, trumpets sound, for even mere renters get their very own washing machines. La la la, la la la, IT IS THE END of schlepping socks around the corner. Use the machine for a hamper, wash your clothes ten times a day if you want. Hit スタートfor “start,” use アッタックdetergent for that Mr. Sparkle-like clean. Clothes dryer are uncommon in Japan, so hang your shirts on your balcony’s clothesline and watch them get tickled by the breeze.
In Ireland, I live in an old Georgian home that’s three stories high. I buy small metal tokens from my landlords every month when they come to collect the rent. There is a washer and dryer out in the back that’s available to all the tenants. Saturdays are for laundry; the renewal of my Irish bedclothes and sweaters and socks. I clomp out to the back in clogs because I’m in Europe and must wear clogs when doing laundry.
Laundry Day in Ireland:
After fifty minutes in the dryer, my clothes still aren’t dry and I want to conserve my tokens so the sheets get draped over my kitchen chairs; a secret fort for invisible kids. I bump into it every time I refill my cup of tea.