Certain people stand out as memorable on trips and the guy who ran our local laundromat  was one of them. Him and the jewellery guy (I don't think I can call him a jeweller) who sold rings off one of those curb side tables in Greenwich Village. I liked the jewellery guy because he was on the money about some people in my life, going off nothing but their star signs. For example: "Virgo's are great but they talk a lot and take really long showers." He wasn't a hippy, I think he was a Pakistani married to a Capricorn. Anyway, I bought jewellery off him that caused skin conditions but I'd go back if he was still around. In a way it was interesting to see what steel does to somebody else's flesh.

The laundromat guy was the same, I found him during our first week in Soho and formed a fast loyalty that meant walking 15 blocks further than necessary with two suitcases of clothes and sometimes in the rain.

When we first met I asked him if it was better to drop off laundry (have it serviced) or do it ourselves and he said "tourists usually get us to do it but locals do it themselves." I don't think he was really right about this as most locals I met in New York didn't do their own laundry and there seemed to be quite a few German couples in there washing the contents of their backpacks but whatever. I liked his sloppy mainland China look of jandals (flip flops, thongs) wellfed belly with his tee shirt rolled up to show it off and the way he was with my kids.

While I purchased rolls of coins and small boxes of detergent he flicked through pictures of his son and filled me in on the Chinese film playing above us.