By the time I got to Cork, I had already spent time in London and Edinburgh, among a couple of other quick stops in Bath, Glasgow, etc., so it was getting to be laundry time. And when I say that, I mean that I DESPERATELY needed to do laundry.
It was no big deal. I was spending a good chunk of time in Cork, so I had no problem with giving up an afternoon to the laundromat. Also, I had very little left to wear, so I figured it would be a good thing for me to stay out of public until I had clean clothes again. I packed all of my dirty laundry into one bag and trekked it up a HUGE hill (as is normal in Ireland/the UK) to a small laundromat I had spotted a few days earlier.
But when I walked in, I didn’t see what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a huge room lined with washers and dryers, maybe with some nice bench seats somewhere to wait between cycles and read a book. What I saw was a lady standing at a counter in a small room with lots of clothes racks in it, all full of cleaned and pressed clothing hanging in garment bags.
As soon as I stepped in, the lady extended her arms, waiting for my bag of laundry.
“When do you need it back?” She asked.
“Uhhh….is today? Doable? Is that okay?”
“Of course. Come back at 4pm.”
So maybe I’m an idiot, but I didn’t know there were laundromats that did your laundry for you. I stumbled out of the laundromat, unsure of what to do with my suddenly free afternoon. I decided to have a wander down St. Patrick’s Street to see what was going on, do some window shopping, etc.
Did you guys know that Ireland is windy? It’s like, super windy. Take the windy city – Chicago – where yes, it is very windy, and multiply it by a million and a half and then you may have matched the windiness in Ireland. There were times on my visit when I almost got physically knocked over by the wind, and I’m a pretty solid girl.
Let me tell you about the Laundry Day outfit I had thrown together: I was wearing a coral pink tank top, a short zip-up hoodie, and a just-below-the-knee length A-line denim skirt. I remember this because I spent a traumatic afternoon in Cork’s city centre trying DESPERATELY to hold my skirt down in the wind.
The situation became so unmanageable that after trying to kill some time in a coffee shop and flashing a number of Irish strangers, I hopped a quick taxi back to my B&B to watch reruns of Will & Grace on TV until 4pm.
SIDENOTE: At the time I was in Ireland (this was 2006), you could watch reruns of Will & Grace at any time of day. The Irish really love(d?) their Will & Grace.
That was the day I learned:
(A) To always have an extra (and extra practical) outfit packed, or
(B) To never leave laundry until the last possible minute, and also
(C) That Irish women are miracle workers, managing those skirts and dresses in the wind.
P.S. Thank god I still had clean underwear. Because a lot of people got to see it that day.