4:15pm: Return to room in hostel after a day wandering around DC.
4:20pm: Eat chocolate over a few chapters of Cold Comfort Farm.
4:40pm: Decide to do washing now, so that it will be finished by 6pm and you can pack before dinner.
4:45pm: Arrive at hostel front desk with $5 note in hand to get change for the washing machine. Get stuck behind a confused conversation occuring between a guest talking in Euros and a worker talking in dollars.
5:00pm: Finally get change.
5:03pm: Arrive in basement laundry room, see that there are hardly any products in the detergent dispenser.
5:04pm: Buy detergent. Realise it isn’t detergent. It’s bleach. Realise the only thing in the machine is bleach. Have other girl in laundry room offer to buy detergent from the machine and share it with you. Point out to her that there is no detergent.
5:06pm: Walk up with other girl to front desk.
5:10pm: Get told by front desk worker that they don’t sell detergent. (Um… okay.) Get told there’s a pharmacy a few blocks away that does. Confuse worker with the bleach in your hand. He doesn’t understand why there is bleach in the dispenser (neither do I).
5:11pm: Accept worker’s offer to refund you for the bleach. Doesn’t solve detergent problem, which is a problem, because of what you’re wearing and the freezing weather outside (see photo below).
5:12pm: Offer to guard the washing machines and the other girl’s clothes while she goes to buy detergent.
5:15pm: Back in laundry room.
5:25pm: Call parents in Australia. Chat for 20 minutes.
5:45pm: Start to wonder where other girl is. The CVS pharmacy is only two blocks away.
5:47: An Australian couple arrive in laundry room, put their clothes in a machine, and go to the detergent dispenser. You point out the hostel doesn’t sell detergent.
5:48pm: Let’s hear it for griping!
5:50pm: Male Australian says he’ll run to grocery store for detergent.
5:51pm: Nice chat with girl from Cairns.
5:55pm: Still wondering where other girl is.
6:00pm: Aussie man returns. They offer you the detergent. Use it, with grateful thanks.
6:05pm: Unsure what to do about other girl and her clothes.
6:07pm: Reassured by Australians that no one is going to steal someone’s unwashed clothes. Guiltily leave laundry room.
6:30: Return to put clothes in dryer. Other girl’s clothes gone, all washing machines in action. Hope you haven’t built up a debt of negative karma. Remember how you helped a Chinese girl not miss her tour yesterday when she thought it left at 5:50pm and it actually left at 5:15pm (you pointed this out to her at 5:20pm). Hope this balances things out.
And now, for your viewing pleasure… what all the cool kids wear whilst trying to wash as many clothes as possible before embarking on a week-long-hotel-with-no-laundry-stay: