For those who haven’t lived abroad, you’re probably wondering what this post can possibly be about. Well, basically, October is an awkward month for doing laundry, as is the spring. Contrary to what many people from the States might imagine, many Europeans (as I learned from having spent long periods of time in France, Italy, Switzerland), and actually most of the world, aren’t big on dryers, so if you’re living in a typical apartment or house over here, you won’t have one. (Unless you’re an ex-pat or something, then it’s an entirely different story).
Actually, the truth is that when I lived in France I had something that was an all-in-one machine, but despite that it was brand new, it was quite temperamental and either never fully dried the clothes, or shrunk them until they were unrecognizable. Of course, I was still happy to have my simple luxury and was “lucky” compared to others who had to haul their clothes to local laundromats on a regular basis, (except my Paris BFF who took full advantage of mine). At that point I hadn’t known life without the practical, everyday commodity except when I had lived in Thailand…
Then I moved to Italy, at which point I realized that my days of taking warm, cozy clothes out of the dryer (especially in winter months) were definitely a thing of the past. Naturally, it wasn’t the end of the world, and in fact, it has become totally fine, except when we’re in-between seasons. In the summer it’s great – clothes dry instantaneously outside in the warm sun. In the winter, I place the clothes racks in front of the heaters, or lay bulky sweaters, towels and sheets directly on them – but what about this week, for example, it’s mid-October and the centralized heating has yet to turn on, but it’s already cold and rainy with sporadic thunderstorms?? I had tried washing clothes the past two days but they wouldn’t dry – and instead started to get that funky damp smell, so today – at the first sight of sun I quickly rewashed the same load for the 3rd time, along with a couple other loads of bulky items (just in case I don’t see sun again for the remainder of the week) – you really have to take advantage of the sun while it’s out.
Needless to say, I’ll be very happy when the centralized heating turns on again. On the plus side – clothes tend to last a lot longer over here without the use of a dryer. So, there you have it – just a typical laundry day in the life abroad. I know all my other friends and family living in other countries can relate 🙂