The whole process of soaping, scrubbing, rinsing, wringing and then hanging leaves my back hurting, my arms tired and my wrists and hands exhausted. Currently, I'm working out of the shower and Sean is working out of the utility sink. We're both soaked from sweat and splashes, elbow deep in gray water and have stripped down to our birthday suits (to throw the clothes we're wearing in the soapy mix too; we've learned that when doing laundry by hand it's best just to do it all at once to get it over with). That's reason number two while there will be no pictures of this evening's activities on the Face.
When I lived in Chile, one of the first things my host mom taught me was how I needed to wash my undies in the shower with me whenever I took one. "How absurd," I thought at the beginning but it soon became the new normal as that's what everyone else did in the family and most everyone else did in the country. Many Brazilians wash their underwear in the shower as well and I can see why: you can get it really clean and it assures that you will always have clean underwear. One things for sure, however, when it's so much work to do laundry, I am extra careful about how I take care of my clothes, what I do with them after I take them off and how many times I wear them before I wash them again.
Laundry time has differed a bit in each place where Sean and I have lived but the process has always involved significantly more work than in the States. In China we had a basic washing machine and hung our clothes on a large hanging rack indoors (in the winter) and outside on bushes (in the summer). In New Zealand we had another simple machine and dried clothes on a rack in front of the fire (in the winter) and outside on a rack in the driveway (in the summer). In Brazil we also have a basic machine but it doesn't work a lot of the time because the humidity and salt in the air corrodes the wires and connections. To dry, we hang our clothes on a rack on the porch, directly in the path of the sea breeze. Because it's so humid here, clothes take a long time for the moisture to evaporate and the clothes never really get 100% dry.
Along with doughnuts, decent internet, a hot bath, Mom's cooking and air conditioning, one of the things I'm most looking forward to is washing and drying laundry using only machines. It's going to be glorious. Hope your Saturday night is more exciting than ours! What are you up to?