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05      Laundry Talk

If you live in an apartment building or a co-op* in my case, whether you like it or not, you have to share a laundry room with other people. One of the reasons why I am in love with my co-op* is because the laundry room is neat and clean. On top of that, it is cheap! The small machine costs US$1. The big one is US$1.50. What a bargain! With those price tags, I can do laundry every day! Okay, maybe not.

One of the so-called excitements to do laundry in a communal laundry room is the ability to socialize. If you are not a social kind of person, you can forget the whole idea of doing laundry during the day or going to a laundromat. In fact, you should consider installing your own washer. Don’t forget the dryer too! But of course, you have to purchase a house first. Because if you live in an apartment building or a co-op, by law, you are not allowed to install washer or dryer in your unit.

So back to laundry discussion, one thing you cannot get away from, is small talks to other laundress. However, the other day I happened to meet a male laundress. As a matter of fact, I see more men do laundry in my co-op than anywhere else. There are apparently more controlling wives than husbands where I live in.

This man looked like someone new. After he introduced himself and claimed that he normally did his family’s laundry on Sunday morning — “It’s always quiet on Sundays”, I found out that he and his family had been living here for eight years. I also found out that he was from the Philippines and going for a day-trip to Virginia. He told me how he felt about raising a kid and discipline. Basically we did a lot of chit-chatting.

The whole talk is pretty interesting but what is more interesting is how much talk we could do while waiting for the laundry to be washed, dried and folded. At the end, it is actually more tiring to do laundry talk than the laundry itself.

*Co-op = a form of homeownership in which there are two levels of ownership: residents, also called stockholders, and the corporation that owns the building, common spaces and land.