The Art of Doing Laundry in Italy




Who knew that one day I would write about "laundry?" I used to like doing laundry, now not so much. Why the change? Because I grew up in Canada where we washed and dried our clothes in machines. I vaguely remember my Mom hanging laundry out in the summer and I would hate it. First of all, it was more work to hang each piece of clothing on the line. Also, once they dried, the clothes had a crunchy, cardboard feeling to it and there would be a strange outdoorsy smell attached. It never had that same, soft feeling that I got when I took clothing out of a dryer. I know, I know, this way it's kinder to the environment and I'm consuming less energy. I realize I've been spoiled by being brought up in North America, but it doesn't make it any less vexing.


Everyone in Italy seems to hang their clothes out to dry, even in winter. And the winters here are fairly humid and cold, so it takes days and days to dry clothing. During the summer, it improves ten fold, however, there's a downside to this. Living in an apartment, there are other people who live above me. I am not fortunate to live on the top floor, but then there is no elevator, so it's a catch 22. On a sunny, warm day, I think it's the best time to do laundry and hang it out to dry, but then I get the annoying neighbour upstairs who sweeps the debris from her balcony out into the seemingly open air. She forgets or more accurately, she chooses to ignore the fact that I live below her and inevitably her crap falls onto my balcony and onto my clean, pristine, just washed laundry. One day, I even caught her throwing dirty water over the balcony. No, it would be too difficult for her to put her debris and other crap into a dustbin like a civil, considerate, less ignorant person would. That of course, would be too much to ask. Oh, and let's not forget the occasional bird dropping that nullifies the point of doing laundry in the first place - to get clothes clean.

One day, my dream is to have a dryer........oh, how dreams have changed from my younger days. I remember, dreaming about being an astronaut or some other unachievable profession that was beyond my capabilities. Isn't life grand?

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