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Life’s simple pleasures… the joys of doing laundry?

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You may think I’m insane… but right now… the simple pleasure of doing my own laundry in my own washing machine is pure bliss! The ritual of putting it up to dry and then taking them down after a few hours to stack in a pile to go to the press wallah tomorrow morning is such a joy!!

The clothing quandry of working professionally away from home in hotels includes:

  • Don’t bother to do laundry. If traveling only a few days, imminently do-able. If not… (Most trips now 21 days)

    Happy clean clothes drying in the balcony

    Happy clean clothes drying in the balcony

  • Selectively attempt to hand wash and dry in the hotel room (Works for the ahem! ‘unmentionables’ but not everything)
  • Live in the same clothes repeatedly (Nope – can’t do!)
  • Pack a massive bag and lug around enough clothes to last the entire trip (Generally, if I can’t carry it on the plane myself, don’t to take it!)
  • Do send clothes for laundry and live with the consequences

None of these options are ideal. With all my trips back n forth between Mumbai and Jakarta, I’ve tried a modified approach:

  • Packed a check-in ‘bag’ for the 1st trip with a wider range of clothes and conveniences for a longer term stay
  • ‘The bag’ stays in the office when I’m not in Jakarta, ready and waiting for my return – which means I only leave ‘clean’ clothes
  • Bring back a smaller set of worn clothes in my carry-on to wash at home
  • Switch with different tops, for variety, on the next trip
Our 'monsoon' or 'over-flow' spot to dry clothes - did 3 loads today!

Our ‘monsoon’ or ‘over-flow’ spot to dry clothes – did 3 loads today!

So far its working ‘ok’ however it does mean that I’ve had to depend on hotel laundry services more than I normally would. This last trip, my favourite super comfy lounging jumpsuit / sleeper came back with such a stink of detergent that I quite literally had a reaction! My eyes watered, instant headache and started to feel nausea. Aaarrgghhh!!

Now I’m familiar with sensitivity to powerful detergents as my sister suffers from this allergy. She struggles when any one wears too strong of a perfume and can only use hypoallergenic laundry soap. And til  date, I’ve been blissfully free of any such reactions.

Clearly no longer! What’s with this adult onset allergies in my forties??? I mean come on! And thus followed a comedy of errors that even four times going back to the hotel laundry service couldn’t fix. So imagine my pleasure when I came home and could ceremoniously dump my beloved jumpsuit with the offending smell into our washing machine. It has come out nice and clean smelling not infused with stinky eye watering chemical detergent!

Oh press wallah? We have some 'presents' for you!!

Oh press wallah? We have some ‘presents’ for you!!

Now there are alternatives… I actually found my ‘dream’ serviced apartment in Jakarta. What made it particularly ideal for the ‘princess‘? It has a washer/dryer unit with iron and ironing board! You laugh? I practically had orgasms when I saw the place and opened the door to the little laundry space! Alas even with my finely honed bargaining skills (India is great at developing these!), it is just beyond the permitted price-range. And to get the best rate possible, needed to lock in for specific dates… something with the ever-moving target of the Jakarta project is risky. Sigh… so no lovely washing machine…

All this to say – am so happy to be home doing domestic chores like laundry! Will even look forward to the dratted “Ding Dong!” that heralds the arrival of the press wallah, ready to whisk away our wrinkled clothes and bring them back all lovely warm and pressed in the evening.

What simple domestic pleasure do you miss when traveling? And rejoice in doing when home?

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9 Comments

  1. gkm2011 says:

    So true. When traveling I miss the ability to do a dinner on the fly at home or to have three different shampoos or to just have fruit in the morning…
    More traveling soon…. Ugh…

    • I’m with you on making a simple meal on the fly… its why I’ve been hankering for an apartment rather than hotel. As it is, I went out and bought ‘groceries’ and emptied the hotel fridge to keep yoghurt, fruit, milk and other staples plus stocked up on a small bottle of shampoo & conditioner. Yes the hotel provides but I’d rather have my ‘own’. 🙂

      Enjoy your upcoming travels!!!

  2. Bharti says:

    I tried thinking very hard about what I miss the most when I travel and strangely nothing comes to my mind. Except probably the simple, light home made dinner and having it in the peace of my quiet room with dim yellow lights.

  3. pollyheath says:

    Uh oh. I think you’ve been traveling too much if you miss doing laundry 😉 I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that feeling.

  4. sarahinguangzhou says:

    Yes I think getting washing done is the worse part of travelling. I normally end up throwing my t-shirts in the shower to rinse them through and then wearing them again because I hate travelling with a huge bag. Don’t really feel clean enough that way though. On my last flight home even I didn’t want to sit near me in my recycled dirty washing.

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