This Ain’t Your Granny’s Washing Machine, But It Sure Smells Like It

I don’t want fabric softener in my laundry. The machine is in Spanish, I think. I’m in Barcelona so maybe it’s in Catalan and that’s the thing that always confuses me about this place. Sometimes it’s Catalan or nothing. Other times it’s Castillian. I can’t read either so cancelling the softener is out of the question. I pack light and only bring quick dry clothing. Softener coats the fibers of the garments and ruins their ability to wick moisture and do the things I want them to do the most – repel water and quick dry.

The big sign just inside the door, that’s also in English, went entirely unnoticed by yours truly. 4 minutes into the wash cycle, I saw it. 4 minutes after I’d already added my perfume, dye, and softener-free soap pod that I’d carted from the States into the mix. 

  • Load only your clothing and Don’t Add Soap! 
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We’re Sick to Death of Your Instagram Photos

And judging by the royal fit your child is throwing, so is he. I can still see and hear him vividly. A screaming tantrum as he’s dragged away from playing at the riverbank with a stick. Immediately, he morphs into a ball of lead in his father’s grip. Kicking, screaming, and already crossing the tipping point to utter implosion. But you couldn’t be bothered with that because you were busy barking at everyone hiking the path, telling us that you were having your picture taken and no one else was to be in it. Not even your kid. The entire scene was ridiculous, down to the artificial pose and the plastic smile on your face when your mother finally snapped the image. Anything for your 217 followers.

Welcome to hiking the Ihlara Valley.

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A Park. A Man. A Tube Sock.

From start to finish the whole thing took less than a minute. Tucked away in a park overlooking Podgorze, the air filled with the spring time chirrup of birds and the riotous tones of children in the playground. After days of record rainfall, the sun had finally come out and so had the neighborhood. I sat on the park bench to revel in it. To soak the heat into my bones. To salvage my ever diminishing opinion of Krakow. And thats when the man appeared.

He stalked into the clearing, single-minded in this endeavor. And to be perfectly honest, I hardly noticed him at first. I had things on my mind, like how was I going to finish researching this book when I had run into every conceivable frustration in this city? Power outages, unexplained closures, and militantly resistant archivists. Whatever this man, or anyone was doing in the park that day, was my last concern. Until he stopped.

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