Tag Archives: clothes

Putting it all on the line…………

On our recent trip to Mumbai, we managed a quick tour of the city. This was by far my favorite stop. The laundry district….

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In this area, thousands of garments are washed every day. It was an amazing array of colors amidst a very gray and drab backdrop.

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India is such a land of dichotomies – really, call centers are changing the way America’s operates (and the world for that matter) and yet, here is laundry being done the old fashioned way. And even though I can imagine a million ways to do it better – this does work.

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I could have really stayed here all day and watched this process unfold – but, alas, I had a battle of the bands competition to get to.

A Dhobi………….

In honor of Labor Day in America, I want to spotlight a career in India that requires quite a bit of labor. The idea of a dhobi – neighborhood ironer – is amazing to me. Almost every (developed) neighborhood in Delhi has a dhobi. They usually park themselves under a tarp and iron all day long. Their iron is filled with hot coals and they toil away in the heat and humidity.  And they charge about 5 cents an item. Normally your order is completed within hours. Oh yea, and they will pick up and deliver. Now that is service.

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You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling……..

Today, with no one but me to do laundry, I actually folded some clothes. I opened my daughters’ dresser drawer to put away a shirt – I shifted some things around to make room – and I was almost knocked over by the softest, gentlest breeze of fresh air I have ever felt and smelled. I swear it whisked my bangs away from my eyes. My head tilted back. My eyes closed. My imagination took me across oceans. There might have even been angels singing. Oh heaven. The commercials are true! Fabric softener does make your clothes smell like a spring breeze.I might just buy stock in Downy.

There must have been something in that drawer that my daughters have decided is not India worthy. It has been left unworn, untainted at the bottom of their drawer. And it is the only thing we have left that still smells like home. (Well, to be fair, the cat litter still smells the same – but somehow it just doesn’t compare.)

Our bath towels have long ago lost the softness and smell of home – their loving feeling. Now I get my loofa scrub when I get out of the shower and dry off with a towel that has been hung out to dry.

So I stood at the drawer for a minute and I thought. Think. Think. Think. There must be something I can do. So I decided to conduct a little experiment.

My blog friend at Mr. Smith Goes to Delhi had told me that dryer sheets were hard to find here. But what she didn’t say was dryers were harder to find. So, I did bring some dryer sheets with me. But, alas, we don’t have a dryer – well, unless you call God sneezing a dryer, but at least we don’t have a dryer that utilizes dryer sheets. So, they have sat unused on top of our washer. Until today. I put two in the washer with my towels. They did come out smelling nicer than they have been smelling. They are drying now and I will let you know how it goes.

P.S. I know some of you are thinking – they have fabric softener in Delhi – just buy some of that. Here is where you have to have lived somewhere that has a Tide laundry detergent/Downy fabric softener combination available to use with your laundry. And you have to have been somewhere where dryers aren’t uncommon. And you have to have smelled clothes that come out of the dryer toasty warm smelling of that combination. It’s similar to fresh bread coming out of the oven – except it’s fresh bread that you can wrap around your body. Soft, warm, spongy fresh bread with melted butter on it. And your doctor just insisted that you must stop the ridiculous dieting right now and gain 5 pounds already. See what I mean? Heaven!

And, yes, I have seen Tide here. But it comes in very small packages and it is expensive. So, please remember, I have three children who would like to go to college at some point. India has convinced them that being homeless is not the career path they hope to follow. So they might have to suffer through scratchy clothes in order for us to pay tuition. If I decide they aren’t actually college material, bring on the Tide – but that is yet to be determined.

Jed Clampet would be so proud…

Are you ready for this one?

I just found out that our washing machine is going to be on our porch. Let me see if I can guess what you are asking yourself – yes it is covered. But nope, it’s not a screened-in-porch (Why would they do that? Mosquitoes are a huge problem in India – no need for screens. What a relief, I feel better already.) Nope, no dryer hookup either. Just a washer. And apparently a really long string.

So not only will I have a washing machine on the front porch, I will also have laundry hanging out on lines. I am sure to be the envy of the neighborhood. Holy smokes. Bow chink a now now. I have nothing else to say about it – I think this news flash pretty much speaks for itself.

Update – Number One Hubby tells me that the washer might not have to be on the porch – it might actually fit in the bathroom. I have just one question – it is a bathtub/washer combination or do I get to now bathe on the porch? Yikes.