My Life in Viña del Mar, Chile: Part Six, Where I Win the Laundry Wars
So It’s Finally Come to This, Have I No Shame?
No, not when it comes to laundry, we have a pile, I have to do extra, and there are two washing machines for a 25 story building. And one of the two dryers isn’t working and I need a dryer. Pause, calm down, take a breath. It’s over now, so I can take my time with the story. Actually today ended up being pretty easy, the trick is, you have to start early.
Tsunami Days Off, Pulgas Never Take a Day Off
Normally I would have done laundry yesterday, we had the change and certainly the dirty laundry. But because of the earthquake and tsunami both Cecile and Joel were off of school and at home, so the day was a little unusual. No worries, one day won’t matter, right? Well it mattered when Cecile woke up in the morning noticing more pulgas (flea) bites, even though I had sprayed Monday. Locations indicated the bed, so it was time to wash the sheets & spray the bed. Not a big deal, except the make sure the sheets dried in time they’d need to be in the dryer, not the drying racks, and the pile of dirty clothes had grown to dangerous proportions.
Sort of a good news, bad news things
The good news was that we had the change for four loads, whatever combination of washing and drying we wanted. The sheets took care of two of those, and then a decision had to be made. We have a comforter that needs to be washed & dried; we’d like that as it’s getting cooler at night & it would make keeping everyone warm easier. But that would mean no clothes would get washed, as the comforter more than fills the washer (it’s not ours, we’re willing to push it beyond the red line, bad us). A few clothes could fit in the sheets load, but not a lot. Also, we were down to one dryer, the other awaiting a fixin’ since Monday.
So I went for the sheets in the washer & dryer + a load of clothes (lights, if you’re interested) to be dried on the racks. Next I had to plan the assault on the washing machines. I’ve written previously that this can be quite a competition, so I planned my strategy carefully. Which is to say my plan was to shower (I won’t go down without showering and I think the rest of the building appreciates that) early and go down when or before Cecile left for the office, usually around or a little before 9:00. So at 8:45 we headed downstairs, and sure enough, both washing machines were free, My plan had worked & my day was complete.
You’re Just Going To Have to Wait Until I’m Done
Sadly that’s pretty much true. Accumulating change for and doing laundry takes up and interestingly large part of our time. It’s 1,300 pesos per wash & dry, not a bad price, but it means we don’t EVER spend our 500 & 100 peso coins. Well the new 100 pesos, anyway, the old ones are too big.
With both washing machines in my control, I still had to consider the possibility of doing one more load of clothes, as we had the money. But hanging two loads of clothes to dry is tricky; it can be done, but it’s not easy and the apartment becomes strewn with drying clothes. So I decided to wait and hope we’d have the change tomorrow to do a wash and dry of the comforter to get that out of the way. And I did a check to make sure we all had the necessaries to have clean clothes tomorrow, so we’re set.
To make me even more smug, when I went down to pick up the sheets from the dryer there was someone there with both washing machines going; I don’t know if she was waiting for the dryer, but I was happy I was motivated to get started early. Too many days have been spent hauling clothes up and down the stairs in a fruitless quest for a free washing machine. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when we get home I’m buying flowers for our washer and dryer, and it’s not weird at all. Much.