Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Laundry List

On the heels of the last post...

I haven't always had the glorious luxury of a washing machine, so I shouldn't be as irritated as I am with the ancient critter that died in the maid's quarters.

I love being able to talk about my home as if it had quarters. And wings. But I digress.

Today I scrubbed laundry in the shower, which was a much better place to do handwashing than the tiny scrub sink that's tucked into the darkest corner of the house and creaks suspiciously as if it were about to fall into pieces right over my big toe. It's much better than the scrub sink I had in my first apartment in Brasil, a beast made of rough concrete that was better suited to burying mafiosos than dealing with delicates. I rarely used it, and even then, I had to double up a towel and lay it over the exposed surfaces so my fabrics wouldn't tear on the chunks of rough stone poking out from the concrete. My second place had a well positioned sink, right by the entrance. Of course, it did take a bullet for me my first week in the place...and lived to tell the tale. I replaced it with a washing machine after six months or so, when I realized I didn't HAVE to wash by hand. It was a flash discovery, a moment of genius when that thought burst onto my mental canvas. I walked out of the house, flagged a bus and went straight to the mall where I bought the first machine that looked good. No more slaving over the sink while dripping beads of sweat into the clean clothes. No more painful wringing out of towels with arthritic hands, or concocting strange devices to do it for me...

I sold that machine when I moved, to a lovely lady who makes the best real french fries and whose backyard resembles a barnyard because that's what she uses it for. I've seen there, though never all at once: pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, rats, monkeys. Some of them, I'm sure, were destined for the cookpot. Yum. Anyhow, bless the woman, she paid me for the machine in regular installments without ever being asked about the cash (which we all KNOW is pretty amazing, whether you live in the US or Brazil) and it was good to see that it went to a good home...

We kindofmaybe broke the washer in the last place when someone forgot to remove a metal pen from a pair of workout shorts and it broke off several small pieces of plastic inside. Still worked, though.

Now we have the oldest machine I've encountered, a toothless thing with two cycles and an 8 kilo capacity. But I think the pump's gone to laundry hell and I can't find anyone to fix it yet. I want to harass the owner, since this litany of breaking things in the first month is starting to feel like we're living in a movie. Maybe "The Money Pit." But we want a cat. And he's kind of against them, so I need to work his good side...

Also, we have mosquitos. I hate mosquitos.

A friend of mine is going to the States soon and she mentioned something funny to me; it's something I've been doing for five years. What do you think expats get excited about? Clothes dryers. I know they're bad for the environment, but I am planning on lugging every single tee shirt and stretched out pair of pants back with me to the US over Christmas. And they will shrink, magically, back to size. And dry within a half hour. Oh, the bliss!

1 comment:

anne said...

sounds like you have been just one step above taking the wash to the crik and scrubbin it on a rock, then draping it on bushes to dry! :) Hope you can get yours fixed soonest!
meanwhile, hooray for running water and that sort of thing, huh?

missing you here at ocpl. sigh. marietta is getting ready to go to divinity school, and I am about to be asst programmer-less again....sigh