Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 13, 2019 — 2 min read
At: Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy
The last few days, every time we were near land, Barbara got laundry fever. And rightly so. The bed sheets’ colors were becoming indefinable, whites becoming yellowish, the boys’ room was smelling like, well, unwashed little boys. My pants were so dirty from all the salt that they could stand up on their own.
Every landfall was accompanied by pouring over Google maps, trying to find the closest laundromat. “Look, there’s one only 10 kilometers away! If we walk quickly, we can make it before nightfall.” In Greece, laundromats are not placed with cruisers’ convenience in mind.
But Italy is different! Santa Maria Di Leuca has no less than 12 laundromats in a 10 kilometer radius, one of them only two streets away. We loaded all our laundry in two suitcases and two big bags.
I have never been in a laundromat before. The instructions on the washing machines and those on the vending machine were contradicting each other. How do you open the machine? Where do you put your washing fluid? What is laundromat etiquette? Can you take out someone else’s stuff if it’s finished?
Luckily, a laundromat regular, Pascuale, was waiting for his machine to finish. In true Italian fashion, he was talking to his cell phone non-stop. He saw us bumbling around like the hapless tourists we are and offered help. In rapid-fire Italian — fortunately with lots of Italian gestures — he explained and explained until we got it. He even payed with his own laundry card for our machines. When we tried to pay him back, he wouldn’t have it, even though we tried several times. “No no no no no no no no no no! No me costa nulla!” Pascuale, if you read this, thanks again!
A few hours later, everything smelled clean again. Most whites were still yellow though.