If you don’t have laundry money, go to the Bahamas.
Doing laundry in the Bahamas I gained a glimpse of how kind-hearted Bahamians are. I ran out of clean clothes–probably much earlier than I wanted to admit–and decided it was time to do laundry. I never knew that dirty laundry could be squished onto a scooter so well until I actually tried. I shoved bits and pieces in every empty crevice. I also placed a full bag in the passenger “seat” behind me and parked my butt on its plastic edge to keep it from taking flight as I rode into town on my quest. I didn’t mind its presence—the laundry bag was like a passenger that didn’t talk.
When I arrived at the laundromat, I realized that I didn’t have any soap. I saw in one corner of the laundromat a service counter for an attendant to sit there and sell soap, but the space was empty. She decided to take a siesta, I suppose. The soap lady was gone. I was stuck. I hardly saw the point of doing laundry without soap. That would be like standing in my dirty clothes in the rain and thinking they are being washed. But, I also had a big bag of laundry that I needed to do something with.
Not willing to accept the fact that I would be washing my clothes without soap, I saw a local Bahamian who was also doing her laundry. I also spotted that big box of soap she had, like it was now a rare commodity that I had to have. I approached her, asking if I could buy some soap from her.
She misunderstood me. She thought I said I didn’t have any money. Without hesitation, she handed five dollars to me. No questions asked. No scornful look. Nothing. Just the money. I’m hardly intimidating looking, so that wasn’t the case. She just thought somebody needed money and she had it, so she gave it to me.
She must have seen the shocked look on my face, and with me just standing there staring back at her not knowing how to react, she waited for my response. I told her I didn’t need money–I just needed soap! So, she took me to the counter where the attendant should have been, and called for her. The attendant appeared from the back office, and the lady went back to her laundry. I bought my soap and did my laundry, and as I crammed all of it back onto the scooter with its fresh scent, I kept thinking about how this small gesture gave me a glimpse of how beautiful the Bahamian people are.