29 January 2013 | US Virgin Islands
I used to think that time spent in laundromats was time subtracted from the rest of your life- as opposed to time spent on rivers; diving, hiking or doing whatever is your passion. Laundromats in the Virgin Islands have proven me wrong. In the last few weeks I have met very nice ladies managing laundromats. In Charlotte Amalie near the SCUBA shop, Lucinda runs a very small laundry and snack business. The local workers come in to grab a soda or a bag of chips and you can tell that they really like and respect Lucinda. She was kind and sweet to me; “good morning darlin, do you have laundry to do”?
A few days ago we had to go to Soper’s Hole to help Barb pick up a water maker part. I really did not need to do laundry, but thought it would be a wasted opportunity. The Laundromat is about a quarter mile down the road, so I gathered the laundry and put it in my little pull cart and headed down the road. I just did laundry at this establishment just a few weeks ago so I expected to just do my laundry and be done with the process in just over an hour. When I walked in the gaggle of women were talking and laughing and I was greeted with the news. “Darlin, the machines not work”. Turns out that only two of 20 machines worked and they were spoken for. Not to worry- “there is another laundry close by”. The women said not far, maybe five minutes walking. After 17 minutes I finally reached the laundromat and was greeted by a warm smile from Emma. I told her about my walk and she said “that is good- you probably needed the walk”. She coached me to not put the sheets into the machine without unfolding…. Emma was very sweet.
Then there is Jerry at another Laundromat in Charlotte Amalie. He works for a hospital or some facility and folds a lot of sheets. He hates to see incompetent sheet folders and always beckons me to turn over my sheets for proper folding. He even folds the sheets when Hunter does the laundry alone.
Did I tell you about the time I was visiting my sister and brother in law on their boat in the Virgin Islands in 2000? Louise and I went ashore at Fat Hog Bay to do laundry and a small herd of goats just walked into the front door and through the laundromat and through the back door, leaving their droppings behind.