Chaos at the Laundromat Cafe

During the morning after our soggy trek, we needed a place to do laundry and grab some grub; where does one do this, you might ask?  The Laundromat Cafe!  It is in this building that you can do laundry in the basement and get a meal upstairs, and it sounded great…little did we know the chaos that was about to unfold…

It was mere moments after venturing downstairs that I stood in the laundry room waiting innocently for the woman next to me to retrieve her wash, while Sarah sat outside the door in an area that virtually every Icelandic parent used as playroom for their children.  The playroom was red, which I later came to realize was to cover up all of the bloodshed that probably occurs in this area. I had read all directions and eagerly stuffed the single load of laundry that we needed to wash into Machine #3.  Upon looking down, I noticed that the water was rising…FAST.  Machine #3 was leaking, nay spewing, water from it’s unders!  Abort, Abort, and more importantly, find help!

Several more moments passed before I, standing next to the manager and her mop, looked out the window to see Sarah, flanked by strange children and their mysterious toys, giving me the “What did YOU do” look from the waiting room. I mouthed, “It wasn’t ME,” back to her and asked the manager to let me know whether they could fix the machines.

We waited about an hour for them to suck and mop the water (which had risen to the top of my shoe) out of and off of the floor, and fix the machine.  During this time, no less than three separate children dropped their heavy plastic toys on my foot to see what would happen.  Strangely enough, they found that when they dropped the toys on my foot, well, the toys landed on my foot!  Exciting stuff!

After the children were gone...

Finally, we were able to use the machine, so we moved on to step two: lunch.  Upstairs, we actually got some really good food–carrot/ginger soup for Sarah and grilled ham and cheese with fries for me.  This was hour two, and we continued to journal and plan while we waited.

Luckily, we reasoned, the dryer would not be able to flood itself.  Sarah retrieved the laundry and transferred it to the dryer with the greatest of ease.  Fifteen minutes later, the clothes (all quick-drying designs) were still sopping, so I put in dollar number two.  Another 15 minutes, and still no progress–the flood had evidently shorted out the dryer or something.

By now, we are on hour 3, and the clothes are still soaked, so we left, planning to hang dry them at camp.  It had, afterall, been a lovely warm day…until we got to camp and the sun disappeared behind a cloud…for two more hours.  Hour number five, and the clothes were no longer dripping but still wet.

We had tried to use the next door hostel’s machines earlier in the day, but they were unavailable.  Actually, the machines were quite available, but the tokens that you buy in order to use them were not; apparently all the cool kids in Iceland cruise the town with laundry tokens filling their little pockets!  Anyway, we tried our luck again, and only an hour later–hour 6 that is–we had dry laundry.  Whoopie-dee–friggin’–do!

After the laundry debacle, we slid into a nice hot pot soak at the pool next door, trying to simultaneously relax and figure out how in the hell we could reduce laundry time by a couple of HOURS next time…

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6 Responses to Chaos at the Laundromat Cafe

  1. Mary says:

    OMG, I am laughing so hard right now!!! Bet you think my children are angels after the red playroom kids!

  2. Maria says:


  3. Jason says:

    Laundry…my least favorite part of our trip. If it makes you feel any better it gets easier (and much cheaper) once you make it to Asia! Hang in there…I love reading along with the adventures!!

  4. Jola says:

    LOL… in India you will have to do laundry by hand… but it will dry fast 🙂

  5. Nicole Castonguay says:

    LOL. Love the picture of Mike and the sign.

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