Friday, 5 August 2011

The Bane of My Existence: Laundry

Any one who knows me well knows that laundry is not my favourite chore. That's understating it. I have been known to drive all the way home to Ottawa from Kingston just to use my own laundry machine instead of dragging all my clothes to a laundromat on campus. I hate the dance of waiting for free machines, and protecting your clothes from being dumped out by another student in a hurry if you are a little late coming back to switch to the dryer. So coming to Bots, I knew that laundry would be one of the colossal challenges I would have to stare bravely in the face and overcome.   
Welcome to my laundry room!
Laundry is done in the bathtub, in plastic washing basins, by hand. Without a doubt this provides the most upper body work-out I have regularly had since my Haycroft mucking days. Charlotte Aicklen: If you're reading this, forget the ARC next year, we just need to start a hand-washing laundry station in the basement! The process is to put the clothes in a basin with the laundry powder, let it soak for a bit, and then one by one pick up an article and scrub/rub it vigorously against itself, dunk back in the water and repeat. After you've done that a couple times you wring out the article, twisting it as hard as you can to get as much soap and water out as possible, and then throw it into the next basin of clean water to start the rinsing process. Usually it takes about 3 cycles of this before the clothes are "done". Then they go out to hang along the fence and dry in the sun.   

I know that I could easily take my clothes to a laundromat in town and have my washing done in machines and dryers. But even though my clothes never seem to get completely clean (either because of stubborn dirt or soap that just refuses to rinse out), there is a kind of satisfaction to the physical labour of the whole process. After three hours of bending over a bathtub and wringing out piece after piece of clothing I am utterly exhausted. But I know I have worked hard and it is easy to see the result: my clothes no longer look like I have been living outside for the past few days*.

*Note: When I do my washing, I usually have been living outside for a couple days. It's crazy the havoc a weekend of camping and cooking over a fire can do to your clothes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment