Here's where the washing was done up until the late 1920's when the Reykjavik finally piped steaming hot ground water into the city center. Women lugged their dirty loads the 3 kilometer distance from downtown to Laugardalur, Hot Springs Valley, walking Laugarvegur, or Hot Springs Road. Going out there and reading the info plaques about what laundering was like and how it was all done less than a hundred years ago helps to put things into perspective . We've come a long way...(Here's a good link if you want to read more about Iceland's more innocent version of dirty laundry)
When we pulled up to the entrance to the Laugardalur botanical gardens this past weekend, just by the little zoo and skating rink, I saw some skinny young badass hanging about at the edge of the parking lot looking all jittery and expectant in his cool sunglasses and swanky sneakers. Two cars pulled up for whatever he was peddling in the time it took me to park and guess his game. By the time the third car was pulling away, the kids had run ahead of me into the gardens and the skittery, embarrassed-looking dealer knew that he'd been made by a 'suburban' mom. So just to bug him I called out in English Dude, you are So obvious and smirked. I know, he replied as he sheepishly jogged away, I know.