Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The First Batch of Laundry

I know that the title of this entry is not perfect English. I know laundry does not happen in batches, but I really can’t think of what it does come in. I’ve been having this problem a lot lately. Just forgive me, laugh at me if you must, and move on. I’m sure it will only get worse. (Bushel? Grr, what is it?!)

As I mentioned before, I will be handwashing my laundry here. I don’t trust the washers if the other people don’t. We don’t have any dryers, either. It’s a completely manual process. The first step of this new procedure was to gather my materials.

materials

I’d like to you to meet my new washing machine: an oversized bowl. In it I put a few articles of clothing. I couldn’t wash more than six. The bowl just wasn’t big enough. I used a bar of laundry detergent and scrubbed those clothes with my bare hands. Also, the clothing hooks are for hanging everything afterwards.

washing and soaking process

The next stage was to fill the bowl with water, soak the clothes, scrub the clothes with the bar, and then proceed to beat and wring the dirt out of them. My forearms hurt now. Think of it as kneading bread for five hours without a break. If you’ve never done that, then just pretend that someone has removed an inch of the tendons in each of your forearms. They’re tight. I’m going to be sore tomorrow from doing laundry. To me, this is a hilarious concept.

I had to the take the bowl of clothes outside for this photograph because our “laundry room,” is really dark. It consists of an unused washer, and a long sink in which people really do all of their laundry. I think the washing machine is just for a decoration, and to indicate where we come to wash our clothes. Otherwise, they might have people trying to wash their clothes in the hanging pipe room that they call the shower room. That’s another story, though.

hang drying

This was the last stage. I couldn’t really reach the line to hang my clothes on. Across the way, there is an apartment complex, and I think the men on the balcony were laughing at me. I couldn’t figure out how to get things hung without them rubbing up against anything outside, which would have made them instantly saturated with dirt. So I ended up holding hangers in my mouth while shaking things out over the balcony. I know it looked ridiculous. I’ll get better at it.

I think my clothes got pretty clean, overall. Washing my clothes by hand was a kind of satisfying experience, in a sick way. The appeal has already worn off for me. I should really do laundry every three days so I don’t have to do huge batches. It will drive me crazy.

3 Comments:

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Disenchanted Dave said...

It's a load of laundry

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger Disenchanted Dave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Teacher Tong said...

你养成了中国人每天洗脚的习惯没有?有没有专门为洗脚的盆?

 

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