Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baté(ing) Roupa

Doing laundry is not the simple task that it is at home. First you ´fiti-fiti´ (totally spelled wrong) where you rub together arm pits on shirts, etc. Next you use the wash board (as seen above) to basically beat the crap out of your clothes.Then you rinse out the clothes in a seperate bucket. I still havenºt really figured out how to get all the soap out of the clothes, I think that it is just impossible. That is the one pro to it really never raining, because if I got caught in a storm I would definatly suds up. Then you have the fun task of ringing out all the water... also something I havenºt mastered yet. We have a tile balcony and each time I have managed to basically flood it (mostly during the ringing out step), which makes it extremely dangerous (but humorous if watching) to walk around and try to hang up the clothes.
The washboard that we have at the apartment is made of wood, they make them with metal and also like a stone, which we had at the homestay family, and definatly beat the hell out of my clothes (way more than now, and also because I donºt have my host mom standing over me making sure that I beat them sufficently). If you have a shirt with buttons on it and your not carefully, you can literally hear the buttons coming loose, the sound just makes you cringe (espeically because you know that you will be sewing them back on later). Jeans, towels and sheets are the absolute worst to clean. not only is it difficult to clean it on the washboard, but ringing it out... Ooo man, itºs the hardest. Iºve figured out that if you put water item you need to ring between your legs you can get most of it out, but alot of times it will end up back in the bucket (and you are also getting soaked) so itºs just a crazy task.
Despite the rediculousness of the situation, I oddly enjoy baté(ing) my roupa, itºs kind of relaxing listening to some music and humorous (sometimes a neighbor from a rooftop will look on, I know she is judging my ability and also amazed that a foreigner can do her own laundry, even if itºs not well).


Cat said...

OH MY GOODNESS...I totally know what you mean about IS impossible to get the soap out. i don't have water in my house so I am stingy with it to a degree and no matter how much I rinse and squish the clothes around and scrub them the soapy bubbles still come out when I am wringing out the clothes!!! fortunately though i haven't sudsed yet when it rains. I don't have that jazzy contraption for beating the hell out of your clothes either...just my two hands and a scrub brush for if stuff is really dirty. I didn't even dare bring jeans here which I am glad of for washing purposes plus with the heat I might just keel over and die in jeans...i prefer skirts mostly, and am starting to have more clothes made here. you doing that yet??

I'm glad you get the election nonsense too...freaking obnoxious. ANywhoo...hope your halloween was good. we had a party here for the volunteers in my region which was so fun!!! I miss you a ton and when are we vay-cay-ing?? Better to book tickets early when its cheaper...where did you say you want to go?? i would totally go to cape verde. I don't know if u got the safety and security email about kidnappings in Ghana and their elections are on my b-day so perhaps it would be best to wait and see what goes down there first!

Jan Jan said...

ummm so i could not imagine doing laundry the way you are doing it in these are a saint just for washing your clothes!

<3 love ya