120314 Thaikarl - Laundry man, me?


since my wife is out working very hard to buy and sell tamarind i'm left at home most of the day.   i try to do a few things to lighten the load on her.  she usually takes care of all the household stuff, cooking, cleaning, plants, shopping, laundry.  well, i can't cook, i can clean some, mama usually handles the plants, i don't know what to shop for.. that leaves laundry.

of course, when i'm in the states i do laundry in the classic masculine fashion.  automatic machine, but in detergent (what ever is near the machine), dump in ALL the dirty cloths in, none of this sorting out light/dark stuff i've heard about, set temp to hot and warm (i still don't believe that cloths can get clean in cold water.  how is that supposed to work? detergent is detergent, how did they magically make it work in cold water?  my mom never washed in cold water.) set on regular cycle- don't know about all this 'permanent press' and 'delicates' stuff, let it run, put everything in dryer, them dryer sheets etc smell weird, don't need them either. power up the machine.  at the ding! take it all out jam into a sack.  done.

its a little bit different here.  Tok ran me thru the procedure, and after the first go, she never asked me to wash cloths again.  it's not like patching drywall or putting in an electrical outlet, which i totally can do, so i must used the wrong method.  somewhere. 

today i was out working on my underground wiring for the front gate lites and it started raining.  had to stop that job and do something else.  the cloths basket was overflowing so i did the wash.   we have this ancient washing machine.  the machines they use here have an agitator side, and a spin-dry side.  the spin dry is busted (i guess, cause she never uses it.)  so you tun on the tap to fill with water, and turn off tap when the level is right.  put in the detergent, cloths and spin the dial to 8 minutes.  there is a plate in the bottom of the washing well that spins one way, stops, and spins the other way.  your cloths swoosh around, stop and swoosh the other way.  machine dings.  take out, hand wring, drop in bucket and take outside, put in another load.

The National "Super Jumbo Deluxe" washing machine

outside i'd prepared the three rinsing basins on the sidewalk.  you fill them with well water.  you have to plug in the pump, wait for it to flow, and filter the water thru a little aquarium fishnet, cause green flakes of whatever come out in the stream.  the basins are usually upside down on the walkway when they aren't in use.  today when i flipped them over a billion tiny black ants freaked out and ran around in full tilt panic.  when their scouts thought under the bins was a good place to set up a nest, they got some bad  intel.  in seconds there was hundreds of them running up my legs and all over my arms.  fortunately, they aren't the stinging/biting variety of tiny black ant, they just tickle a lot.  i gave them a few minutes to grab as many larvae as they could and head for safer ground.  the pump started getting a head of pressure going, so i had to get the hose.  washed thousands of them off the walkway, off the bins and off my arms and legs.  sorry about that, little guys.

the freshly washed cloths need to be rinsed in each of the basins, theoretically getting most of the detergent rinsed out.  the last basin gets some blue stuff poured in- fabric softner i think (?). you have to ring them out some by hand between each basin.  after the last rinse they go in the basket.

bucket, rinse1, rinse2, rinse3, basket...

then you take the basket to the other side of the house, under the extended roof of the shed, and hand the cloths on hangers, bamboo rods and lines between the posts.  then go back to the washing machine, which should be done with 2nd load, and carry on.  did three loads today.

hang 'em high, hang 'em low, don't let 'em touch the ground

of course, when Tok or Terry do the wash, they can squat down flatfooted to rinse and wring the cloths thru the line.  white men like me can't squat, so i have to teeter on the balls of my feet, or just bend over.  i'm feeling those muscles now, hours later.  when Tok does the wash, and brings the dry cloths up to our bedroom to put away, they are always inside out.  i never knew why. a bit annoying to reverse anything you want to put on, but i have other issues that are really more annoying then that, so i save my energy for the really annoying stuff. (like electrical cords that automagically tangle themselves up for no damn reason and will NEVER just let you drag one out... etc) I finally asked Tok the other night why the cloths were inside out.  "so when they dry in the sun, they won't get lighter color on outside" she says.  duh.  that totally makes sense eh?

i hope the suns back out tomorrow, i want to get on with electrical work, PVC piping, cement... things that make sense to me.  she did smile when i told her i did the wash and told me "Good Job!"

ain't love grand?


  1. Karl...just checking your comment widget. Left a (long winded) reply not so long ago, but it's not showing?

    1. alas, alack! did not arrive Snap. sorry. i checked my moderation, and spam, only this one here. i hate it when that happens.


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