Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

コインランドリ・Coin Laundry (Laundromat)

If I add up all the days, weeks, months, and years that I have spent in Japan, the total would come to more than five years. However, today I did something that I had never before experienced. I went to the Laundromat, or in Japanese, the Coin Laundry.

Despite the rain, the sensation that I needed to have my clothes cleaner than hand-washing provides forced me on a fifteen-minute walk to the Laundromat. Since it was raining pretty heavily, I found it quite amusing that Washing Hero 1 had “I got sunshine on a cloud day” on its awning, not to mention the name. Washing Hero? Can you say Engrish?

When I entered the establishment, there was an old man sitting waiting for his laundry in the dryer. I said, “こんにちは” (hello), but he gave me a somewhat untrusting look. I pulled out all my clothes and started to wash. Several minutes later, his laundry was done, and when he left he said, “お先に” (I’m leaving ahead of you.) When I told him, “御疲れ様です” (Good job on your hard work), he started to chat me up before he left. That really made my day. I am pleased to report that despite costing an arm and a leg ($3 per load and $1 for 10 minutes in the dryer), my clothes are now brilliantly clean.

Coin Laundry, you’re my Washing Hero. I’ll be back soon.


Blogger Tea said...

Hey, I've lived in Japan five years as well--and never have I been in a laundromat! Strange. Granted, never have I had a clothes dryer in Japan either. Nor a single tub washer. Now that's one thing I do not miss--having to transfer your clothes over to the spin bucket by hand!

11:55 PM  
Blogger agiawb said...

When I was living in Gifu, my washing machine broke. (You may remember this story.) My supervisor called another department to have it replaced as it belonged to my office. I heard him ask on the phone how much it cost for a two-tub washer. When he got off the phone, I told him, “If it's the same price, could I have a one-tub washer instead?” He looked at me incredulously and asked if I preferred a one-tub washer. I thought, "There's a man who's never done laundry."

Do you remember standing out on the balcony in the snow to wash clothes because the washer was on the balcony? Just have to remember you started the wash in the winter or you could end up with your clothes in ice and then have to wait for a warm day.... Now that's something I certainly don't miss.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that they had Whirlpool washers advertised on the window. Do they have Japanese brands there also? How about the detergents? Do they have Tide, Gain, etc. or just Japanese brands?

6:20 PM  
Blogger agiawb said...

I've only seen Japanese brands. Currently, I'm using liquid "Top."

5:24 AM  
Blogger Tea said...

Yes, doing the wash out on the balcony in the snow and having my clothes freeze solid is on the list of things I do not miss about living in Japan.

11:16 PM  

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