Okay, so I put off doing laundry for two weeks because I really didn’t want to tackle the washing machine instructions. I wanted to take the easy way out so I sent Larry off with the shirts to what I thought was a dry cleaner, but it turned out to be a leather repair place????? Still hopeful, I asked a couple of our quasi English speakers where we might find a dry cleaner but no one knew what I was talking about. So lucky for me the machine instructions were also written in English and after 30 minutes of intense study I was off and running oblivious to my real problem – drying.
I have no dryer, as most people don’t. Many hang their wash out over the street, but I’m on the ground floor. Others, like us, have to use a drying rack. Fortunately, our landlord has provided us with a very nice one as well as an ironing board and the dreaded iron. In retrospect I clearly should not have waited so long to do the laundry because I now have three loads (albeit small because my washer is small) to dry and one rack that is looking smaller by the moment. Problem #2 – the only room in the house without hardwood floors is the bathroom (which is way too small to consider) and the “cantina.” Many older Italian buildings have cantinas which are essentially dry-storage where they keep the homemade wine, cured meats and root vegetables. Our apartment has one, but it is more of a damp-storage. As our landlord explained, it is because we are so close to the river (2 blocks?) that it is damp and musty and she just stores cleaning supplies and building materials there. Now I was never great at science but I’m pretty sure if you put a rack full of wet clothes into a cool damp room they will not dry. So I gave Larry a hopeful estimate that the laundry might be done in three to five days. I checked this morning (48 hours in) and even his wash-out-in-the-sink-dry-by-next-morning-travel-underwear was still wet. Since the clothes were at least no longer dripping wet we moved them into the living room, opened the one window and turned on the fan, which was Larry’s idea (he’s much better at science). It was very humid today and then we had thundershowers, so I’m thinking another three days and we’ll be ready to iron. This really sucks. As I keep reminding myself – charm comes at a price.