In a 2.7 Hollywood Reporter interview with Ben Svetkey, Willem Dafoe mentioned the peace of mind he gets from hand-washing his undies or visiting nearby laundromats when he’s staying in “strange” cities. “I did that in France recently,” he says. “I was shooting a movie there, and it was a beautiful experience. For some reason, people are really nice to me in laundromats and I have these great encounters. Talk about fun and sexy.”
Mon experience exactement. Well, not sexy but fun in a mild, calming sort of way.
15 years ago I was staying in a place on rue Durantin in Montmartre. Early one evening I lugged my pillowcase of dirties over to the Laverie Automatique (2 rue Burq, just north of rue d’Abesses) and tried to figure out the centrally computerized system they have there. One wall-mounted device accepts tokens for all the washing machines and dryers. A young Australian woman noticed my distress and showed me the ropes. We would up chatting for a while.
Why am I remembering that otherwise uneventful evening with such clarity? Because it was pleasurable and almost joyous on a certain level. Oh, and unlike Dafoe, I love folding after removing the socks and T-shirts from the dryer.