Day 246: Every Day is Laundry Day

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

Apartments in China can be small and appliances such as clothes dryers rare, so it is quite common to see clothing hanging outside to dry. In fact, I had to argue with our Ayi when we first got here because she wanted to hang our clothes out on the balcony; she refused to use the clothes dryer, saying she trusted God but not the machine. I insisted that the machine had to be used (even though it doesn’t vent to the outside–but, hey, China!) and eventually she acquiesced. But I understand her perspective, As a kid growing up in Queens, NYC every backyard had a clothesline strung across it and laundry day was filled with the sound of clothes flapping in the breeze. Here in Shanghai space is at a premium so by necessity any horizontal pole, bat, or wire can become a suitable “clothesline”.

4 thoughts on “Day 246: Every Day is Laundry Day

  1. We have a dryer, but the belt went out some years ago (when our niece was here and used it), and it’s too much trouble to fix, given that we’re both happy to dry our clothes on wooden racks, whether outside on the patio in pleasant weather, or down in the basement otherwise. We have enough clothes that anything in particular can sit on the rack for a day or two without inconvenience. Just don’t see the value in a clothes dryer, and it seems a large waste of energy.

    In that regard, with California just experiencing record heat and the usage of air conditioning straining the electric grid, word went out to “not do laundry,” by which I imagined they wanted to avoid dryers running. Given that it’s a hundred degrees Fahrenheit and not at all humid, who in their right mind would run a dryer? (The electrical load of a washing machine is something, but not *that* much… but oh, maybe everybody’s using combo washer/dryers these days, and you can’t separate the two functions?!)

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