You Still Need to Do Your Laundry

My friend Michał, provoked me with his recent Facebook post on Polish laundromats to mention the New York ones on my blog. It’s rare here for people to own washing machines, which is why there’s a laundromat to be found every couple of blocks. What’s more, a washing machine in an apartment is treated as a luxury. I never had one here, but I must have lived near dozens of laundromats – both modern ones and little hole-in-the-wall kind of places, which looked as if an earthquake had just taken place inside. I also lived in a building with its own laundry room (which wasn’t that much of a luxury, since the machines were forever occupied by other people). Now I have a 24/7 laundromat near to my place – it doesn’t have anything special about it, except being large and full of Mexican music at all times.

Over here, you may consider yourself lucky if the laundromat you use is not further than one block away from you. This means that you will most likely avoid the disastrous loss of a bra in the middle of a street (a bad experience, I can tell you). I don’t know why, but I feel there’s something humiliating about dragging around a huge bag filled with dirty laundry. Every time I see a person bending over under a heavy load, dragging bottles of detergent and fabric softener (which will make your underpants smell “of slowly budding spring”), carrying a cellphone and biting on one’s key chain in order not to lose it, I think we all share the same fate as human beings – the fate of dirty drawers. And even though the routine seems quite simple – you put things inside, you pour the liquid in, and after half an hour you move the stuff to the dryer, only to take it back after another half an hour – I still know that for many people (me included) the phrase: “I need to do my laundry” sounds like a death sentence. When you finally do your laundry, not only are you as proud as if you had just passed the toughest of all exams – you become convinced that the whole thing is a piece of cake and that the next laundry will be nothing but loads of fun. You believe it firmly, passionately… until the next day comes along.

An average price for a load of laundry is $2.25 for the washing machine and $1.50 for a dryer.