Today marks the day I became a self-sufficient human Laundromat. And let me tell you, I have definitely been taking my washing machine & dryer for granted the past 18 years. There’s a whole process that involves pouring water on your clothes, then soap, then scrubbing, flipping, and turning the clothes in side out while you keep scrubbing until you can’t quite summon any real effort from the muscles in your upper body anymore. Oh, and then you rinse. By hand. And then you squeeze the water out by wringing out your clothes, and that’s especially difficult with jeans, I will witness.
After about 30 minutes of this, I happily reached the bottom of my laundry bag. (I should mention here that my laundry bag was tiny, and my host-mom Josefina does about 2 big buckets of laundry EVERY DAY.) And then all I had was the easy “cool-down” task of hanging it all on the line to dry. Wait, did I say cool-down? I meant the absolute hardest part. They don’t hang them up with clothes pins, but rather they pull apart the fibers of a nylon rope and stick the edges of cloth between them. It’s highly efficient, and super difficult. I would say that the fact that my fingers had been numbed from the cold wash-water was both a blessing and a curse. I had a lot of trouble separating the smaller fibers, but at the same time, I didn’t feel any rope burn when I pinched myself, which was often.
The upside is, however, that today is a sunny, windy day. And if I’m lucky, my clothes will be dry when I get home from working at Cambiando Vidas this evening, and if I’m really REALLY lucky, they might not even smell like fire smoke. Here’s my message in brief: do what I didn’t and appreciate your washing machine & dryer!