If the tiny village of Kardamyli had a laundromat in 1977, I didn’t find it. What I did find was the town watering hole where people came to give their animals a drink of fresh water and where they had been doing laundry for hundreds of years. The sea is extra salty in Greece and since the land is very arid, fresh water is precious. Like many primitive communities around the world, the hub of the community is at the town well.
I brought a few bits of laundry to do the old-fashioned way, and was in awe of the amount of scrubbing the “laundry tubs” must have seen. It’s not easy to tell from the photo, but these tubs were worn smooth on the inside.
While I was washing clothes, a friendly lady came along to give her donkey or horse (my apologies to the animal, but I don’t know which it is) a drink from the fresh water. We asked the woman in sign language if we could take her picture. She happily agreed and we thanked her.
A few of them started to drink, and again, we asked if we could take their picture. This time the reception was not so friendly. She signaled “no” by the usual Greek gesture of what almost looks like a nod. Confused by the nod while she was saying no, we asked again. By this time her goats were getting a bit skitterish and the woman shot us an annoyed look.
We took pictures of her leaving the watering hole thoroughly disgusted by the insensitive tourists who had come to ruin her day.
One little goat came back to have a word with us: “Why don’t you tourists pack up your laundry and your cameras and leave us in peace?”