The laundromat in my building basement has all the basic hallmarks of the most uninteresting place to be. It's hot, humid and the ventilation is not the best. There are these old-fashioned dryers that are nothing to be romanticized about. The detergent vending machine is from the 1960s perhaps. A sad couch sits under an equally sad clock on the wall to one side. A huge plastic thing (there's no other way to describe it) says "dump unwanted clothes here" or something like that. I've been tempted to let go of one of my Sarojini Nagar garments but doubt if it's going to Salvation Army or Goodwill. But there is a shoe rack stuffed with old books and magazines in case you're inspired to wait in the heat. It's kind of like a library except you can replace the book you borrowed with something else. Once I flicked Guns, Germs and Steel, among some dog-eared classic editions of Elle or Vanity Fair.
But the thing is - a laundromat is not the best place to socialize. you just go in, dump your clothes, and get out. there's no Friends or Seinfeld-type banter (although i admit i know of at least one person who had an affair with someone she met there!) or 'hey, what's that bleach you're using?' or 'gee, even i have the same shirt.' sometimes there's like a 'oh, i'm almost done here [with this machine]' or a passing smile with a familiar face.
So last night when i went to transfer the garments from ze washer to ze dryer, this couple was standing right next to my machine. So they had to move naturally. I came back about an hour and a half later to retrieve my stuff from ze dryer. And someone had ALREADY taken my stuff OUT of ze dryer, put it in ze laundry basket and basically left me this huge invisible post-it: "here's your stuff. needed to use the dryer. now go."
I have to say i felt kind of victimised! not to say that some random stranger (i think it had to be that couple) had gone through MY clothes. shudder. whatever happened to laundromat rules???