The Seven Hour Load of Laundry

by Tara Russell, Apr 20, 2003 | Destinations: Thailand / Bangkok

One of the mega-perks of living in our serviced apartment is that we now have a washer/dryer (one machine). The concept is great, and entertainment from the actual machine will keep me in good spirits. Coming home from the grocery store one morning (around 10 AM), I was thrilled to have bought some laundry detergent (not that I knew how to WORK the machine, but I was determined to try). I decided to begin my experiment with mostly underwear and old clothes (never know what might happen), so I loaded the machine which opens from the top, has a steel cylindrical compartment inside that unlatches to hold the clothing, and the detergent goes into the lid (I think) much like a dishwasher. After loading the machine, I turned all three dials to what seemed to be normal settings, then pressed all the buttons on top of the machine, and held down another to begin the process. About three and a half hours into the process, I began to worry that I had done something wrong so I pushed some of the buttons again. I called the maintenance man and asked if they could explain the washer/dryer. Through broken English/broken Thai, we figured out I had loaded it correctly, and that there were only THREE more hours (or so) until it would be finished. So, about SEVEN hours after I had loaded the machine, I had myself a small load of washed but half-wet clothing. I was laughing hysterically as I unloaded the machine and hung our underwear all over the apartment, over the kitchen table and chairs, on the door handles, and over the furniture (I'm sure the maid got a kick out of our underwear "decorating" the apartment!). So, one day later, about 24 hours after the process started, we had clean underwear! Even the simplest of tasks in Thailand become far from simple. There is never a dull moment here!