Laundry in Mongolia
by Tara Munch
Laundry in Mongolia
You would think that laundry would be fairly simple around the world and that there wouldn’t be all that many strange new things to get used to mishaps to report... What do you mean that you would assume that there would be all sorts of laundry issues when abroad? Stop being smug then and let me tell you about my action packed day of laundry in Mongolia.
First of all I do my own laundry. Duh, you say? Well, I do have a housekeeper and she would do my laundry for me however, I heard far too many rumors about ruined clothes to risk it. Buying clothes in Mongolia is not something that I want to have to do. There are places to shop for clothes here and some of it is cute but I wouldn’t want to have to depend on the shops here for my wardrobe, that is for sure. So, I do my own laundry.
I have a washer. I bought it is in my first month here. I put it off as long as I could. I didn’t look forward to trying to figure out which one would be the best . (big numbers are good?). I also didn’t know if I could get them to understand where I live. It would be easier if there were actual address here but there really aren’t. I asked my friend Ariuna to write down where I live. Apparently the translation is something like, “the 19th building in the 13th district in from the black market but behind the wrestling palace, stop when she says too.” You haven’t lived until you try to do that in mime. How is got here is still a mystery. It is a little rough but it works perfectly well. It is attached to the sink in my bathroom and drains into my tub. Classy? You betcha.
However, I have yet to see a Laundromat here in Mongolia so I think that the alternative is washing clothes in the river as I see some women doing sometimes. Call me lazy but that is not happening.
I do not have a dryer. Not because I don’t want one
but because apparently there aren’t any in the entire country. I can’t tell you how much I pouted about that.
However, that didn’t help all that much so I had to suck it up and buy a couple of drying racks. I didn’t realized how much a dryer does for clothing. Clothing gets back its shape? Check. No wrinkles? Check. Soft fabric? Check. I would whine more but thankfully I don’t have to do my own ironing. This is one of the great things about living abroad in a developing country. That and the fact that I don’t have to wash dishes!
Anyhow, the event that touched of this laundry filled blog really happened because I am an idiot. Really there is no other explanation or excuse. Somehow I when I started my washing machine this morning I overlooked the fact that the draining tube was no longer running into the tub. That is right, I flooded my bathroom a good bit of my apartment with dirty laundry water. It was like a scene from the sitcom of the life of a very stupid person. I am slipping around the water trying to find some towels to clean up the mess.
The outlet that the washer is plugged into is smoking and sparking and I am attempting to both clean up and not set fire to myself at the same time. And have I mentioned that I am slipping around the floor as if it is an ice rink? Yes, it was that ridiculous. Of course I only have three which doesn’t even being to help. Three, towels, six hand towels, four sweatshirts, two sets of sheets and a blanket later I have most of the water mopped up.
I hope that there wasn’t any water leaking into the apartment below me. I will have think of a plan to deal with the owner of this building if he comes looking for the idiot who flooded it. I am thinking that the “who me?” approach might be the best. And of course there is the fact that I don’t speak Mongolian…
All that and I still have three more loads of laundry to do!