Heysen Trail

The Heysen 56: Laundry Soap

Tuesday, November 01, 2016


Zero in Kapunda. I lazed around in the morning, then went to the laundromat (there’s a laundromat!) only to discover that it had no detergent dispensers. Searching for small quantities of detergent at the grocery store, I bought a 4-pack of ‘laundry soap’, assuming that soap = detergent. No, it’s bars of soap.


My mind was boggled about why someone would want bars of soap instead of detergent. A friend suggested that they’re used for washing with a washboard. I – just skip the rest of this paragraph if you’re not interested in reading more about washing – looked it up online, and found this: ‘By the end of the century there were plenty of wrapped bars of commercial, branded laundry soap sold at moderate prices. To mix up a lather, you could grate flakes off the bar of soap, or even buy ready-made soap flakes in a box.’ So are people actually buying the soap bars from the grocery store and grating them to do their hand washing? Or do they just rub the bar on the clothes? If anyone can shed further light on this, I’ll send you $2 worth of laundry soap. Except I won’t since I’m definitely leaving that 500 grams in Kapunda.

I had supper in the dining room of the pub where I’m staying (Sir John Franklin, $30/pp). An elderly couple was concerned that I might be lonely sitting alone, and the woman came over twice to ask whether I wanted to sit with them. I replied that I would be happy to if they wanted a guest, but I didn’t care about sitting alone. The woman said that no, she wasn’t guest-fishing. They kept talking about me at their table, which was nearby, and I could hear everything! Sometimes the woman would even repeat herself at a louder volume since her husband was slightly hard of hearing! One of my favourite comments was the woman saying ‘I could go and ask her since I’m a woman, but you can’t since you’re a man and she would take it as…[suggestive silence]’. NO, I REALLY WOULDN’T. I SEE YOU (WIFE) SITTING RIGHT THERE. Also my clothes have not been washed in two weeks, but do you know exactly how people use laundry soap? (What if the entire market for laundry soap is based off of people thinking that it’s detergent?)

After supper I went up to my room, found that I had locked myself out, and went down to the bar to find an employee to let me in. I saw a man who I talked to yesterday there, and he said to someone: ‘This young lady knows what she’s doing. And she’s obviously got the intelligence to do it.’

Me to pub employee: ‘Hi, sorry but I locked myself out of my room.’

By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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