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Green vs poor

April 12, 2012

Let me get one thing clear from the beginning. I’m not directly poor. I can’t afford everything I would like to have, but I could certainly afford a clothesdryer. The problem is, there’s nowhere to put it. Many German apartment houses have a room in the basement where the tenants can put their laundry machines and dryers. This house doesn’t. Some apartment houses instead have a big room, either in the basement or in the attic, where tenants can hang their laundry to dry. You might think such a thing could never work, obviously the clothes will be stolen. I guess it depends. I used to live in such a house in Gothenburg, in my student days, and for the most part it worked. Anyway, the house I live in now has nothing of the sort. Our kitchen isn’t all that big – we managed to fit a laundry machine in there, but only a small one, the standard size would have blocked the door. The bathroom is positively tiny. The hallway isn’t so bad for a hallway, but anything placed there will be in the way. And both rooms have parquet floors. A nice luxury, but not compatible with drying laundry, either in a dryer or hanging from a laundry stand.

So I hang my laundry on the balcony. Strictly speaking, the rental contract forbids it, but where else can the laundry go? In the winter, it’s a big headache. Stuff takes forever to dry. Laundry has to be carefully planned, so that we always have clean and dry clothes. Once or twice last winter, I’ve taken to wear my jeans damp because they just wouldn’t dry otherwise.

Back in March, I was talking to an acquaintance about the marvellous weather we were having. I happily mentioned that for the first time, my laundry had gotten dry during the day, rather than needing to hang until the next morning. My acuaintance got all enthusiastic: “So you hang your laundry too? It’s so much better for the environment!” I replied that I mostly found it laborious, and that I’d like to have a clothesdryer. She said oh no, it’s not a problem at all, she hangs her laundry over the bathtub, and that’s where her water heater is, so it always dries very nicely.

I don’t have a bathtub. And when the dirty laundry is overflowing and the laundry stand is overflowing and it’s cold and rainy so nothing dries, I couldn’t care less about the environment. I want a clothesdryer because it’s comfortable and practical. End of story.

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From → Anecdotes

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