Laundromats seem like days gone by. With the advent of cheaper washers and dryers and bigger homes, they seem lesser not luxury. While convenience is key in this impatient world, there are a plethora of reasons to adore the washateria.
I admit, I’ve had a fascination with the idea and the concept of communal wash space since I was a child, but had never used such a space until I was 18 and in college. Touring the dorm before I lived there, I was ecstatic to see the laundry room in the building. It was everything I needed and desired in such a space. The washers were in one corner, the dryers in the other. There were two large folding tables and hanging space as well. The other spaces in the room were filled with couches and tables. Girls would go down to the laundry room and rather than go back up to their rooms, they would stay and talk or do homework. The task ridden place became a social haven.
The next year, I moved into an apartment with a washer and dryer (sellout, I know). After just a year I thought, enough! Get me a place with no washer and dryer. Well that wasn’t exactly the reason I moved, but it was what happened. Before I could move into my new place I packed my bags and moved to Copenhagen for an in-between summer stay. There’s no better way to get to know the people in a new place than do laundry with them. Doing laundry in foreign countries is a guessing game as you will never know what the words mean, BUT it was a shock that no matter how closely I watched the clock, every time I returned to the laundry room my clothes had been replaced in the machine with someone else’s. The wet heap of cloth sat atop the washer in a pretty pile. While the Danes are prompt, they remain polite.
The idea of having your own space to wash clothes seems absurd. A luxury yes, but to go and get out of the house to do a household task is the true luxury. To see people, interact with them, wish them well... that is the true meaning of contentment. With technology reaching new heights and luxuries we may not have dreamed of becoming realities, we must not forget the value in human interaction.