Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wash, Rinse, Repeat... Again, and Again, and Again

Last week, I did my laundry for the first time in Brooklyn ever. It's not that I'm lame. It's that I'm cheap and my parent's have a perfectly good washer and dryer an hour's drive outside the city. For those of you who still think I'm lame, let me explain the process I use to go through every two weeks living in Kurihara-shi.

Here's the 'How To' manual complete with pictures:

First, I had to fill up the larger tub. This was done by running a green tube from the machine to the faucet in the kitchen sink. With the exception of the hose, pretty familiar.

Then I had to drain it. This was done by running another hose out through my door (even in the dead of winter) and letting the water empty out on to my porch (some people had it even worse). Then I had to take the clothes, wringe them out by hand and put them in the 'spin' section.

After it 'pretended' to wring your clothes out (hence the need to do it by hand first), you had to put them back in the larger tub for the 'rinse cycle'. Repeat the whole process over again, including hand-wringing and 'spinning' and then, after all that, it was time get creative about finding enough room on the drying rack to hang everything (in the winter, it could take days for stuff to dry).

See, there's basically no such things as dryers in Japan rural Japan. They sell them, but they're very expensive and usually only come in a washer-dryer combo. Most people don't have them. My apartment already came with a washer installed so I was screwed. There was only one ALT living in Miyagi-ken that had a washer-dryer.

Some brave folks would hang their clothes outside but I really didn't like the idea of pulling my sweater on to find one of these crawling around inside it.

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