Freshly Laundered Chinese Food

It’s funny how smells can take us back to a time, long ago. As I explored Warsaw, with my camera in hand, I went to the back municipal parking lot behind the Chinese restaurant & laundry mat. I was immediately transported back to my childhood with the smell of freshly laundered clothes juxtaposed with greasy oriental cuisine.

We had periods during my childhood when we didn’t have a working washer and/or dryer. So, I remember going to this laundromat on multiple occasions, passing the time with my mom and sister. Mom has always been a big fan of Chinese food, so I have a lot of memories of this restaurant in particular too (even though it’s under different ownership and name). I can remember many times when Mom would park in the back lot and send me in to pick up an order. A long walk down and black and white checkered hallway, usually trying to duck the boy who was a year older than me named Quanling.

It’s funny how these memories mixed together as I walked through the lot. So much familiarity and comfort in childhood memories. Two smells that seemingly oppose one another, one clean and fresh – the other greasy and heavy. Somehow, just like my memories, they combine to form one oddly sweet, somewhat melancholy amalgamate to my senses.


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