My housekeeper also works at a laundromat -- and I always use her an an example of "those lazy immigrants" since she works 12 hours on Saturdays and 12 hours on Sundays standing up (not allowed to sit) doing laundry and folding people's clothes. I'd like to see some of those immigration critics tackle that job.
In any event, today she was here and somehow we were talking about the laundromat and she told me those giant machines are $9.50 and the regular machines are $4.50. I am lucky enough to have my own washer/dryer and so I have not had to sit in a laundromat in a very long time, but I was stunned by those prices. Oh, and drying is $1.50 for 8 minutes. Easy to drop $20 for a visit.
Last time I regularly used a laundromat, I believe the regular machines were $1.50 and I think the dryer ran on quarters. Hadn't thought about it, but Ana told me that the machines are all done with swipe cards, so you buy a card and then swipe it down.
She was also telling me, in a very light-hearted way, as if it were funny about a friend who told her that after she pays her rent she has no money for food... and was laughing "Oh Ana, I only have water in my refrigerator." Again, there are those who believe that people going hungry in this country is a myth, and it's not. That notion also makes me wince at when I have food that goes bad in my refrigerator and I end up throwing it away. I remember reading somewhere that you should think of tossing the actual money in the garbage can to realize what a waste it is.