I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not great at housework, and I know my mom agrees. While I’ve always gotten along great with my parents, my childhood memories are punctuated with moments when my mom’s head practically exploded because she discovered the mess I’d been hiding in my room. Now that I live alone, I make my own messes and I do my best to clean them. Still, I find it extremely hard to keep up with all the daily maintenance. I tend to let things just get messier and messier until I can psyche myself up enough to spend the day belting out Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and practicing dance moves to Lady Gaga’s Judas while I mop begrudgingly.
However, there’s one chore in particular that I absolutely cannot stand, and I’ve never been able to fathom why.
I hate doing laundry. Which I know is really ridiculous, because it takes all of 5 minutes to separate your clothes out and throw them in the washer with a cap-full of soap. I will literally do ANY chore to get out of doing laundry. I might begin sorting my clothes and then suddenly notice that I haven’t wiped down my sink in awhile or that my bedroom floor could use some sweeping. I will even wear dirty clothes over and over until I run out of clean underwear. (Read: I’m gross and lazy)
Now that I live in Costa Rica, laundry takes more effort than ever–although, to be fair, it costs significantly less. First of all, my Costa Rican washing machine has to be filled manually with a hose. Once the clothes have done their wash cycle, that’s where it gets tricky.
Only rich people have dryers in Costa Rica. It’s a tropical country so everyone just hangs their clothes to dry in the sun. So instead of a
dryer, I have a “spinner.” Once the clothes have washed, I have to drain the water from the washing machine. Then I painstakingly wring out each individual piece of clothing and put it in the spinner.
While labor intensive, the whole process would be easy enough…if the spinner on my washer actually worked right. My spinner is a crap shoot. Sometimes the clothes come out almost dry; sometimes they come out completely sodden and dripping. You just have to roll the dice and watch while the spinner shakes the whole washing machine, making it travel 2 feet to left, like a possessed appliance out of Poltergeist. (Come, children…all is welcome…there is peace and serenity in the light…)
Once everything has been spun (regardless of whether the spinning worked or not), I take the clothes out to the front of my apartment, where my clotheslines are and hang it all to dry. On a good, warm day in Costa Rica’s dry season, I might be able to wear my clothes and bring them in by the end of the day. However, during rainy season, because of the humidity and rain, it can take a good 2 or 3 days for everything to dry out. And even when dry, everything smells musty.
So, ultimately, doing laundry in Costa Rica is a much more labor intensive and crappy chore than it is in the States. And I still procrastinate as long as I have to…unless I’m writing a blog post about it :)