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A Spanish Laundromat

December 3, 2018

We call them our laundry people. They live in a building in front of ours, on the second floor. Every day I see them in their windows when I’m on my balcony. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they don’t talk. They cook all together, they watch TV around 8 at night and play dominoes after dinner.

It’s a family of 3: a mom, a dad, and their son in his 30s. They own a Laundromat on the first floor of their building, right under their apartment. It's called "Lavandería" which translates into 'laundry' in English.

I go there quite often and bring my bedding as I don’t have a dryer at my apartment. They know me, I would even say they like me. I get my cute neighbor girl discounts and a special treatment. They try speaking English to me, they ask me how my day is going, if everything’s fine at school and whether I’m not too cold in this weather. 

They remember my name (at least they think they do), they call me Ana, which is not my name, but they think Anastasiya is too long. Usually, I hate when people call me that, but our laundry people are allowed.

Every weekday exactly at 8 in the morning they turn the lights on, and it means that the Laundromat is open. I can see it from my window and I unintentionally smile every time. I imagine them starting their routine: the mom must be at a cash register, while the dad and the son are loading those huge laundry machines. 

I love going over there and just chat with those people. I don’t care that its the 10th or so time they tell me that they will be closed at 6 and that they like my coat. I like their smiles, I like the smell of the powder, I like Spanish music they are playing. 

Sometimes my roommate would ask: “Didn’t you wash your sheets last week??” In response, I usually would have to say something stupid such as I like my begging being clean or that I got something on them. She wouldn’t understand if I told her that I liked the company there and me going to the Laundromat wasn’t about my sheets anymore.

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