It’s Saturday night and I’m spending it sat on my own in a LaundroMat in San Francisco. It’s a weird place and I never thought this would be what I’d be doing on my only Saturday in the city.
It’s weird. I feel like I’m in a set from Eastenders or the episode of friends when Ross and Rachel do their laundry. There are a fair few locals and two other people about my age, I’m not sure if they’re locals or travelers like me but everyone is keeping their heads down, reading a book or trying to watch whatever is on TV on the smallest and most awkwardly positioned TVs. I couldn’t imagine having to come here every week to do my washing, I guess we take have a washing machine for granted and I never really thought that there might be people who don’t have that luxury. You don’t see many in England but there’s one almost every block in America. But it’s coming to the end of my time in San Francisco and the plan is to start in LA with a suitcase full of clean clothes so I’m grateful that there is one just two blocks from where I’m staying, although it’s proving more difficult than it seems.
First I had to purchase washing powder from the vending machine with quarters. It doesn’t tell you how much they cost but it does offer you a selection of American brands with no information about what they are. So unwillingly I have seemingly purchased ‘green’ washing liquid which has ‘no fragerence’. So although my clothes may come out clean they may not smell as fresh as I had hoped. Then you have to purchase a $3 card to then load with money to work the washing machines, it won’t accept my dollars and the only change machine gives you coins and it won’t accept coins either. I’ve now got a loaded card with $10 on of which I’m only actually gonna use $3.40. I feel like I need to find other things to wash to justify putting the money on the card. Anyway the clothes are in the machine, albeit whites, colours and darks all in one and I’m now sat here connected onto a random open wifi network waiting for the wash to finish. Whether it’s on the right setting I do not know but how bad can it be?! Now to wait and transfer it all into the dryer once I’ve worked out how that works.