One of the good things about renting in London is that the places come pretty set up with appliances, and basic furniture; a fridge, couch, and washing machine.
When we moved into our flat we soon realised that our washing machine wasn't a dryer also and that we had all these wet clothes and nowhere to dry them.. so our lounge room takes on a look of a clothes bomb exploding when we wash stuff.
When you don't have a huge apartment, when its time to wash things like sheets and quilt covers you could be waiting days for things to dry.. so I decided to take these things to Launderette.
I live in the middle of two worlds.. the rich snob Notting Hill world, and the Gritty World.. And typically I end up in the Worlds End version of the Laundry.
To be honest, this is the only Laundry I knew of in the area.. the fact that it has shot out windows and junkie lighting should have put me off in the first place, but goddamit I needed to have clean dry sheets that night.
From the first moment I walked in I realised this wasn't like any normal laundry I had ever been to, to begin with I slid halfway across the room because there was a flood coming out of a broken machine. That's ok because some nice man helped me up and I steadied myself in finding a machine.
The man who helped me up then walked away and started having an in depth conversation with the cleaning bucket, it was then that I realised I might not be in the worlds most normal environment.
Pretty much half the machines didn't work, and there was no one in attendance working there, it was kind of a free for all laundry.. There were a group of Laundry Locals loitering around the entrance who clearly thought it was hilarious that a noob had shown up and skidded half way around the room.
That's when I realised that I had forgotten my laundry powder. There is no way I was going to walk the 10 mins home and leave my stuff there, so I decided to look around for the most likely person to hand over some powder and plead stupidity.
There was only one person in the room, and he looked like this:
hmmm. Well I didn't have a choice did I?? so I went up the guy with one tooth and asked if I could please have a cap full of laundry powder...
Not only did he say that of course I could use his powder, but he also had some fabric softener for those sheets that he highly recommended.. I thanked him profusely and went back to my machine.. Then I realised that I didn't have the correct change.. again.. I looked around and there was no one there except me and Sleeps Under A Bridge.. so I bit the bullet and asked if in the off chance of this being the worlds strangest laundry in the universe if he would have change for £5 so I could use the machine... Of course he had change I could use!! and he pulls a handful of pound coins out of his threadbare pockets with holes.
I learnt a lot in this Laundry. I learnt that just because someone hasn't bathed in a year and has never used toothpaste and has one tooth, that they are nicer than most of the jerks I interact with in wealthy establishments everyday. I learnt that it doesn't matter if you have nowhere to sleep as long as you have enough money to do your laundry and if your clothes are dry and soft, then that's all you need in this life.
The next day I found a ritzy well lit snob laundry one block down from my house. I'll still go back the homeless person laundry. It was real.