02 December 2008

Laundry in London

I'm trying to do laundry right now, but the washing machines here...well, make it a bit difficult. They are apparently designed with midgets in mind. With a loading capacity of approximately three shirts, four socks, and a pair of underwear, you must run approximately fifteen loads for a day's worth of clothing. Washing your bedding? One sheet per load, please. Throw in a pillowcase if you dare. The wash cycle takes about 45 minutes (unlike the fifteen minute cycles in the Land of the Giants), while the dryer cycle takes...oh, wait, no dryers here. Unless you make a decent income and therefore expect a certain quality of life, or have a baby and forced your spouse to get you one, as the prospect of hanging four billion teeny tiny onesies over drying racks would no doubt push you over the brink of madness. But any home outfitted by the lower or middle class since, say, 2007, is most likely dryer-less. I don't mind it so much given that I hung-dry most of my clothing in San Francisco, but there I had the luxury of a sunny bay window and a pleasant ocean breeze to do the trick. Here you would only open your window if you had a death wish and thought biting gales of frigid rain were a pleasure. And so you rely on the radiator: those ancient sources of heat lining the walls of each room, often broken, and with a surface area rivalling that of a tea saucer. Luckily, given that one can only wash a hanky at a time, this seems to work out.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go put in a pair of socks.

1 comment:

Mezzo SF said...

Did I ever tell you about the time our family was in London staying in a rented apartment for a week? It had a laundry machine, and my mom found a mystery thong inside.

She put it on the door handle to freak out my father in the morning (who had already gone to bed as all of this transpired...).

Pretty classic family moment.