Sunday, May 22, 2011

Washing clothes in Strasbourg, or just looking for a web-cam

Back in the days where I was (for a brief time anyway) writing travel articles for print magazines, getting travel freebies and generally trying to become what I thought a traditional travel writer would be - before I discovered blogging - I found myself some pretty bizarre story angles.

I'd got some freebie hotel accommodation in Strasbourg, which is in France but close to the German border, and not too far from where I lived in Heilbronn. Hopping around on the web looking for story ideas, I came across a laundromat in Strasbourg that had a web-cam. And this is a few years back, when having a web-cam was something pretty unique.

So yes, while in Strasbourg I hunted down this laundromat and hung around suspiciously taking photographs. The Happy Wash laundromat ended up featuring in an article I wrote at the time for the Student Traveler magazine - there's still an archive version of Proof of Life on their website. I suggested travellers could get their parents back home to go online and watch them doing their washing. I wonder if anyone ever did?

Looking back, this does seem kind of bizarre. But I loved travelling that way - looking for the bizarre things. I'm pretty sure most tourists didn't put this suburban Strasbourg laundromat too high on their agenda. But that won't stop me looking out for it if I ever get to return to France.

If you've ever been to anywhere a little bizarre just for the sake of it, I hope you won't be too embarrassed to share your story in the comments ... you know you want to.

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