Getting my laundry done is often a trial; especially when it rains for an extended period of time and the clothes and linens cannot be hung out to dry on the terrace.
I, myself, do not have a washing machine. I need to get some electrical work done and the top floor before I can put in a washer and, of course, there is the price of the washing machine itself. I have yet to move ‘washing machine’ to the top of my list of things buy.
So, for the past three years I have relied on the help of others to do my wash for me. Oh, I do my own hand washing when possible. I now have the required number of buckets to perform their various duties – one for cleaning fluids to wash the ground floors and one for the upper floors so I don’t have to tote them up and down. I have one very large bucket for receiving my sudsy clothes; another for rinsing. But when it comes to towels and sheets and jeans, I don’t have the power or the will to wash them by hand.
One of my neighbors has a machine and twice a week (when it isn’t raining) I hand over a basket filled with linens and sturdy clothes for her to wash. It’s a fine arrangement. She, a single Mom, appreciates the extra income. And I appreciate getting changes of linens (often just in time) and turning a chore on my ‘to do’ list over to someone else.
The first time I asked Rachida to do my laundry for her I handed over some Tide with the laundry. She looked at the Tide and said “Ariel” to me. Rachida doesn’t speak English or French and I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me. She then said “ma-chine” (with the emphasis on the first syllable) and I still didn’t understand her. She raised her voice (as if I were deaf) and kept repeating “Ma-chine, ma-chine”. Finally I understood. The laundry detergent she needed was called “Ariel” because it was specifically for washing machines. I’d never heard of the brand before but somehow I made the connection. I ran down to the hanute (shop) and purchased the required Ariel.
The sun is shining today. I think I’d better gather up my linens, purchase some Ariel and find Rachida.