Laundry with 4 children has always been something one needs to stay on top of but I have never really minded doing it. Of course, until now, I have always had a large washing machine AND dryer to make the task of doing laundry easy and relatively quick. Well, welcome to India! Yes, most places have a washing machine (small in comparison to what I am used to) and they either have a drying rack or a clothesline or just the balcony ledge of their residence. If you are a little less lucky, you have the public fence of a park or even a roadside that you can hang your laundry to dry.
When we arrived in our temporary “furnished” apartment until we get our own shipment from overseas and have settled on a rental contract (which takes a lot of time in India with negotiations, etc.), I asked where the washing facilities were located. They opened up the back door to a very small patio (we are on the 2nd floor currently) and showed me my lovely new laundry room.
Yes, it is a front loader, but about half the size of the one I just put in storage. Dryer? “Oh, the clothes come out about 90% dry.” Believe me, there is no magic washing machine here that produces your clothes to be 90% dry but again it is coming from a completely different perspective. So, I do my small batch of wash and then hang it on my nice aluminum drying rack. It takes at least a day for it to dry before I can do another small batch of laundry. Sometimes I try to squeeze a second load on the drying rack.
Most people here have their clothesline or drying rack outside on their balconies. For example, my back neighbor, hangs hers up and leaves them there for 2-3 days. I have not come to terms with doing that yet because (1) with monsoons, the downpour will come immediately and who wants to start over drying it all out again and (2) on occasion, the smell of “trash burning” is so great that who wants to put on some clothes that smell like you’ve been sitting around a campfire?
Yes, one of the many things that are on our list of negotiations for our place of residence is that it includes a washer AND dryer. Having discussed this with other expats, builders really don’t plan when building for the dryer vent — something that will need to be worked out. Just another fun thing to laugh about when realizing that I am the lucky one — I am living with electricity to be able to use these conveniences instead of doing my wash in some dirty water and air drying it along a park fence. Ok, so maybe it isn’t so bad!