Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday 19th April 09 – Byron Bay.

My pile of dirty washing now equals the size of Mount Warning a reasonably large land mass close to our house. It is said to be one of the major points where all the earths’ energy channels meet, creating one giant earth chakra. Not too dissimilar to my pile of undulating undergarments as im sure there are a few energy channels running thru them by now, there’s definatly something running thru them as I have heard it scuttling about at night in the same vicinity.
Every morning for the past 4 days we have announced that today is the day we bundle up our, always surprisingly numerable amount of soiled vests, pants, socks and second hand towels that smell as if they have been kept in a damp loft for a week or two, into our one enormous bed sheet and cycle down to the YHA hostel to sneak in and use their laundry facilities, like some Bonnie and Clyde/ Dick Whittington on bicycles type affair.
We discovered this technique from Jess, a lovely if somewhat slightly odd girl form Adelaide, who was one of our fellow housemates until Mark, our equally odd landlord decided one day that he had had enough of her, and, as the cruel but kind mother bird lovingly but ruthlessly boots her young chick out of the nest, he not quite so lovingly booted her our of the house. For good. Im not too sure of the formalities but what I do know is Ollie and I helped her bundle all her belongings into her battered white transit in a flurry of tears, sweat and rain. This was during the week the sky fell in by the way. I had always thought she was fairly same until she started spilling horrific stories about our fearsome landlord and scared the leopard print yoga pants off of me. I think Ollie always had his doubts and they were firmly confirmed when he spied numerous jars of half nibbled anchovies shoved in the door of her vile van. A sure sign of insanity of ever I saw one.
So when every “when ever we can be bothered” comes around, we drag our ‘sack-o- socks’ down to said hostel, creep past the receptionist doing our best ‘ scruffy backpackers impression’ not too hard I admit, and make our way past the most depressing pool I have ever clapped eyes on. The sign on the gate optimistically states ‘No glass in the pool area at any time’ but it seems people would obviously prefer a stroll to the local bottle bank, by the looks of the greeny grey goop that seemed to be collecting and forming a thin carpet, over the once jazzy blue mermaid mosaic at the murky depths of the pool.
The laundry room is behind the glamorous Miami style pool area and to the right just next to the showers.
As soon as you walk in an overpowering cloud of dry heat hits you making you choke and break out into a sweat at the same time. Once you have acclimatised and your eyeballs have got the hang of blinking double time so as not to let your somewhat valuble eybulbs shrivel up amidst the flying towel fibres and washing powder flakes that fill the air, you must ‘sort your load’, according to the laminate plastered to the wall. So we crack open the bundle and sort.
Now heres and interesting fact that I only just found out, for an item of clothing to be considered ‘a white’ it only has to contain the slightest hint of white about its person, anywhere. Even if it’s the stitching. Every day is definatly a school day I tell you.
So, washing sorted we cram it into the impressively industrial machine that laughs at what we thought was a sizeable load. My beloved boy admitted that he has a certain fondness for any industrial machine that was obviously made to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and the 6month old un washed under crackers of an unusually sweaty backpacker, and I must admit I agree with him. Washing in, we retrieve the small wrap of blue washing powder that the receptionist handed us, falling hook line and sinker for our uncanny resemblance to the paying residents, from ollies red back pack. The powder has been measured out by some poor sod into little polythene baggies so that every one gets the same stingy amount, like in prison. The result however is a slightly odd, slightly illegal looking bag of powder that one has to carry around in ones pocket and that automatically, makes you feel guilty when it happens to plop into the ground in the middle of Woolworths.
Powder in, and slam the door closed with a satisfying clunk, insert criminally small amount of coins, turn the dial and WHOOSH! We’re away.
For the next 35 mins we retire to the internet café where once again we fool the waitress into thinking we are paying customers but pulling out an apple I had hidden about my person for the very occasion, and munching away heartily as we tippy tap on our Toppols safe in the knowledge we have once again beaten the system.
Sufficed to say when we return after having popped back after 35 mins to remove squeaky clean items and dump them in the even heartier tumble dryer, we are greeted with a pile of washing so dry and warm and ferociously loaded with static electricity, you automatically want to a) climb inside b) fold each item more precisely than ever so a snot to waste all the hard work and c) rub each piece on your head and giggle as it sends each hair into a frenzy of static excitement.
So washing folded and bundled back into our swag bag, be retrieve our rusty cycles and pedal home with haste to ensure we make it back before the sky falls in again.

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