Saturday, November 15, 2008

Washing Machine

Today, my washing machine wore a blue dress and jelly shoes... Me! I wash all my clothes by hand now.

Hanna helped. Actually, Hanna did most of my laundry and I was the one who helped her. It’s not my fault. I try to do it by myself, but Hanna doesn’t like the way I do it, so she tells me to move over while she washes my clothes. She only trusts me to rinse and hang the clothes to dry.

The process is much more time consuming than I’m used to. I prefer to throw my dirty clothes into the washing machine and press start. That’s so simple! But here, I am the washing machine. I don’t have a start button. I have to do it by hand.

You start with two buckets of water and a big metal bowl. First, drop a few dresses into the metal bowl, and wash them by rubbing a bar of soap over everything. Then wring out the water and drop them into the first bucket, where you wash them again. I don’t understand why we have to wash them twice, but Hanna is quite insistent. She is so particular about how I wash my own clothes. She makes me scrub the armpits of my dresses more than I think is necessary, and I’m like, come on, I’m not that smelly.

After washing each item of clothing twice, put the clothes into the second bucket to rinse. This is what doesn’t make sense... the rinsing bucket becomes so soapy that the clothes don’t feel fully rinsed. It would make much more sense to me to wash the clothes once and rinse them twice. However, I’m always so grateful for Hanna’s help that I go along with it.

Finally, take the clothes out of the rinsing bucket, wring out as much water as you can, and hang the clothes over the clothesline to dry. Whyadeea! You are an African washing machine!

Everyone at my house is really amused watching me wash my clothes. “In America, you use machines, right?” Right. SO much easier. Even with Hanna’s help, it takes such a long time. Hanna, however, is very distrustful of washing machines. She doesn’t think they wash the clothes well enough. I could just picture her one day being very rich with five washers and driers, sitting on the floor of her laundry room washing her clothes by hand.

I, on the other hand, believe that washing machines are wonderful inventions, particularly the electric versions that can’t wear blue dresses or jellies.

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