Consumed with the all encompassing desire to do nothing today, but also facing the greater need for fresh underwear. Yes, I am wearing my swimming costume right now. I put the capital 'R' for 'Realistic' firmly in my SMART goals today and set myself the very realistic goal of doing nothing except my laundry and arranging meals. Having done so, I rolled up my Santa sack of stinky, sweaty goodies, and set off in search of the nearest coin laundry.
In due course, I discovered the desired location, only to note my lack of laundry detergent, this being one of the items I had discarded in the great turtlepack purge. Pickle. Luckily I found myself within sight of supermarket and leaving my sack behind at the laundry mat I walk up to the shop.
It turns out, to my advantage, that laundry detergent in Japan, is packaged exactly the same as it is in Australia. Elated by how easy the purchase was, I returned to the washing machines. This time, to realise that the coin content of my wallet was severely depleted. Double pickle. I seek out the nearest vending machine to force it to give me change. It is out of order. Triple pickle. I spot another vending machine up the road.
Once again, I set out leaving my sack behind, finding the vending machine and to my great delight, change! Coinage factor be high. I return once more to the machines.
Having never used a laundry mat, even at home, I'm not certain of the etiquette. So I take what I believe are instructions, not that I can read them, from a cartoon washing machine on the wall that has a mouth like a blow-up doll, and proceed.
It all went fairly well, I was using the general principle that if my clothing items can't handle being tumble dried then they don't deserve to survive the rest of the trip, and apart from me staining my once buttercup towel a nice mustard colour due to proximity with my black thermals, there were no mishaps.
Relishing how much lighter the clothing is, post wash and dry, on the way back to the hostel, knowing full well how much of a difference wet clothes made on the overall weight of the turtlepack. I drop off the items and head out to lunch. This time taking more notice of my surroundings.
Kyoto is positively charming, the shops, the little lane ways, the small shrines on the side of the quiet streets. I stop in at the first eatery I find, I order a set that turns out to be a kind of DIY lunch, with rice, eel, tuna and accompaniments, that you add to your bowl to your liking, then pour hot water over the top to form your own soup. The lady serving me was incredibly patient and helpful, whilst demonstrating how I was to construct my meal. This had been proceeded by a selection of puffed rice crackers, some sweet like fruit loops but more elegant, other savoury flavoured with soy or seaweed. I reminisced afterwards that I should have taken photos but by the time I had had the thought, it had all but disappeared.
The meal was followed by a dessert of green tea and coconut icecreams, warm red bean rolls, and frothy tea. The flavours were delicate but delicious.
I make it back in time to miss being caught in the mid afternoon thunderstorm and watch the heavy droplets, and lightning from the refuge of the hostel.
Having reached all my targets for the day, I settle down for a well earned nanna nap.