Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Process of washing and drying clothes in India

Imagine how great I felt when I found out that there was a washer and dryer in my apartment. Of course, this was from a western perspective. We all know how it goes, you put the clothes in the washer, add a little soap then 50 or so minutes later we transfer the clean clothes to the dryer, fold, maybe iron them and away we go.

How silly of me to think that it would be this way in India. Here's the deal to washing clothes in India with a washer and "dryer". First of all one fills up the washer with water, manually because the tube won't connect to the sink, maybe three large buckets or so and then you add the soap, some clothes, set the timer to 15 minutes. Not so difficult right? Well ok, then you put the cycle on drain and add three more buckets of water to get the soap out and then put the washer on a cycle to spin. OK, not too bad so far right, unless you're used to the western way of things. The dryer is very small, interesting I thought. The dryer is actually a spinner to get the water out and then the reality is that the clothes have to be hung up in order to dry them.

Maybe this has to do with why things move slowly, the heat of course is another reason. Can it all be brought back to the wasteful technology that we’ve used in the west of washing drying clothes. Of course using the sun and regulating the amount of water used makes a huge environmental difference. I do know however that the soap that I use seems to take a lot of color out of my clothes, so maybe not so good for the environment.

Contradictions abound, but the process of India is something that I’m now confronting regularly! Maybe when you visit you won’t think that it is a process, but in fact it is.

1 comment:

amuiscute said...

Yes...that is because Indians cannot afford a separate dryer - size of apartment, additional cost, sunrays being abundant, high cost of electricity, years of doing the same thing....