Monday, March 27, 2006

Laundry Day For The House Of One.


Monday can be as moody as a horse five month pregnant, but Tuesday is special. It's the day I get to feel like Einstein's cousin, the half-wit circus clown who unlocked the mysteries of eternal love. The kind of love that can make married couples who have been living as strangers for more than twenty years to suddenly look at his or her spouse in a different way that will make them want to get away from the kids to go live on a deserted island as lovers who can't get enough of each other. Tuesday is the day my lonely apartment comes alive with the domestic sound. The sound that means a great deal to me. The slow rumbling sound of a washing machine in full cycle, turning and swirling the laundry in a merry twirl. It's the sound that can make me feel like Bill Clinton. Or George Bush. Or Martha Stewart.

For two and a half hours, counting from the minute I carry the laundry basket from a section of the kitchen to the washing machine, putting in the laundry piece by piece, mulling over a decision which type of detergent to use, and finally turning on the dial to set the machine going. All this makes feel me so important. It makes me feel like a military commander, a big guy with a mission that can determine which way the economic future of the nation can go. Of course I know all this ain't much of anything to a lot of folks out there. Especially the housewives. They do this everyday and have probably gotten sick and tired of it. But not for me. Give me laundry to do and you'll see me all fired up ready to go, complete with the laundry dance which is a half circle dance around the washing machine, and the fabric softener.

TV sound doesn't count. It's artificial. It is not connected in anyway with the actual act of living. The sound from a washing machines, however, is the real thing. It has a direct link with life itself. Without this sound I don't get to wear fresh clothes smelling all nice and sweet. Of course this is the closest deal I can get to the real thing of having my laundry dried in the sun. The kind you hang on a long clothesline in the middle of a prairie, or by the beach. I can be anywhere in the world but the images of laundry on clothelines blowing wildly in the wind under a bright afternoon sun will always reminds me of home. Wherever that might be. It reminds me of the existence of human. And life. And laughter.

I don't dry my laundry in the sun. Not in this apartment. I want to do that but I'd better not because it will only make this whole apartment complex looking like a giant laundry factory. I have a lot of respect for this building that I am inclined to believe that it is morally wrong for me to turn it into Sam Ping Flat equivalent.

Instead of sun dry, I got my laundry machine dry. Which is not so bad. Especially the towels that will come out all fluffy and warm. I like folding these, making them look like pastry dough left overnight ready for baking. I also like folding away the laundry in a neat stack. My clothes are boring. There are only three dominant colors, black, blue and white. Maybe beige. I liked it better when Aunt Su was here. Her laundry had a bit more color to my otherwise boring set. She's got bright colored batik sarung, brown and purple ones from Ceribon and Eastern Jawa. I'd say my laundry is macho but it is nonetheless a stack of laundry that reminds me that I'm home. And it's Tuesday. Until next week.

17 Comments:

Blogger Kak Teh said...

my washing machine broke downnnnnnn!!! and the laundrette lady is ever so pleased to see us back with tons of washings! it spins but it doesn't rinse! what do i do, bergen?
there's a conspiracy in my kitchen - the freezer has gone on strike too!

1:21 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

i love to just sit in front of the washer and watch the colours tumble round and round and round..with that comforting whizzing sound in the background; and me having little secret conversations with myself in between (wierd? but true). the grand finale is the best, when you open the door and a beautiful smell greets you.

sigh..I love laundry day.

but I hate ironing.


ps. kakteh!! That's just a sign to tell you to move back to Msia!

1:35 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

I have 3 washing machines!! The reason for that I think it's obvious hehehe. At the moment the 2 older ones are working, the newest 10 kg load one is not for almost a year now. So have to make dowith mr faithful from National.
I still hang my clothes on the ampaian behind the house. I like the smell of the sun dried clothes. They feel so fresh.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

LOL! My favourite topic! Oh I envy you Bergen, one load of laundry a week! Mine is like (here I go again) minimum 2 or 3 loads a day .... my husband says if I have to complain about doing laundry, I might as well live alone :(

Queen of Laundry, I am.

2:08 PM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

I used to love going to the laundromat during my student days.

The trip to the laundromat event in itself. Laden with Kitkats and an assortment of cheap weekly magazines from the corner shop in tow - I would make my way to Longbridge Laundry and start the ceremony.

At the end the magazines will usually be left unread because about 90% of the time I will be in a trance-like state staring at the spinning motions of the washer & dryer.

Dunno why. Just happens. ALL the time!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

Well since u derive so much pleasure from it and all, how about you doing my laundry too. U might get 1/2 as much pleasure as doing your own which is better than no pleasure at all. Better still, you can hook up with my mother and compare notes about laundry stuff.

My mother does like 7-8 loads per laundry day. She has so many different categorization; ie coloureds, whites, work clothes, undies, towels and sheets, the children's clothes, and of course baju kurung and silks. All cannot campur wun. My mother is Chinese and believes in these pantang larangs that even my chinese friends don't know of. She is sworn against washing undies together with baju kerja. Baju carik rezeki tokleh campur with yg 'kotor'. So ur undies don't get washed until u get a full load of them.

And the one thing that drives me nuts the most is that baju kerja zee laki must be handwashed with TLC to make the rezeki yang dia carik lebih berkat... ( haiya Mak... berkat comes from tuhan and not from tengkuk baju laki lah Mak ). Well, she forgets that I work too... so who's gonna be hand washing my baju with TLC to make the rezeki I carik more berkat?

3:39 PM  
Blogger anggerik merah said...

Ever since I alone, I began to appreciate the sound of washing machine, hanging cloth on drier, folding and place then neatly in appropriate compartment. I could appreciate the joy of it.

3:56 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Kak Teh: Outlet valve malfunction? Freezer not freezing. Check thermostat?

Anedra: It can be hypnotic, ma'am. I know. Nearly got meself hypnotized by the machine once too often. I love ironing, it's the ultimate laundry experience. The grand finale.

AuntyN: The newest isn't working but the older ones do? Laundry magic. Three washing machines, that's like having three maids in a row, right?

QOTH: Does KOTH do the laundry for a change?

Lifebloom: Yes, I know what you mean. Laundry spiralling, lather, water jet. I don't know what to call them but they can do magic on you.

Noni: 7-8 loads a day? That works out to like a whole day @ 1 hour a load. Does she got time to dry them? Or does she machine dry 'em. What happens on rainy days?

Anggerik Merah: Yes, ma'am. The folding can be therapeutic and a stack of laundry arranged in a neat finish can be quite zen. These are simple things in life that mean so much at different times of the day. Only when one lives alone will one be able to have the eye for this sort of detail.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

The KOTH? Alahai ... what can I say. Maybe when I balik kampung, and maybe when I was in the hospital having the princesses and princes :) Ya, behaving like a royal PIA (figure out what that means) :) I can count on him to siang ikan, but not do laundry.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Nekbat said...

The only thing I like about doing laundry is the smell of the fabric softener coming from the hanging clothes on the ampaian.

6:17 PM  
Blogger demonsinme said...

MASTER BERGEN,

For me, the true meaning of being a man is to be able to withstand the hardship that women have to endure in fulfilling their so called traditional duties. As you have experienced, something (like most of us males like to think) so easy is not that easy.

Hope you learned the value of a women from that experience. Women are priceless.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

Berg...

laundry day happens 2-3 times a week and always starts first thing in the morning lepas subuh if it was up to my Mak. She supervises, like which piece of clothing goes into which load... when I am home, which is co-incidentally always laundry day, i have to do the babu job like pressing the buttons on the machine and tarok the detergent and softener and hanging the clothes to dry... of course I am less dicerning behind her back... taram aje semua masuk the same load... pastu guess who pays the water bill every month? akaque jugaque!!!!

and yes.. ur right.. laundry day takes up the whole day... so that's how my weekends go...

8:39 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Glad to see you in this happier mood.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Amazing to know that there ARE other people who love laundry days too!! There I was thinking that I was mental. :)

My love affair with a washing machine began in our flat in a military camp in Kuantan, when Mama bought our first washing machine, and a front-loading one at that! She couldn't manage handwashing all the diapers my baby brother was going through daily!! I used to spend hours in front of the machine in the back end of the kitchen, just watching the clothes tumble round and round and round, and getting all excited when the dry spins came! It is extremely therapeutic, isn't it? And when you open the machine, ohh, the clean nice smelling clothes is just bliss!

My cat's developed a love affair with the machine too, but only when it drains. He has this unstoppable reflex to attack the drain-hose with crazy commitment as the water spills out! I don't quite get that fetish. :p

1:12 AM  
Anonymous hemu2 said...

loved taking fresh laundry from the dryer and piled them on the bed...a nice, warm, sweet smelling and fluffy nest :)

11:21 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

QOTH: PIA - Pakistani Airline?

Nekbat: Nothing beats air/sun dried laundry.

DIM: You've got it right there, sir.

Noni: That's a heavy load for a weekend.

Liza: Yes, ma'am. I am always in me happy mood. Well, once in a blue moon when I ran out of coffee, which gives me the reason to run to Tesco. I got home and forgot sugar. I go again. And then dairy creamer. I go again. 3 - 4 trips to Tesco and me life is back to normal again, ma'am. Doesn't take much to make me happy really. LOL.

Blabs: You stayed at Batu 9 air force camp?

Hemu2: Yup, nothing like fresh laundry to make you feel alive. And ready to take on anything. Being in a dirty clothes can bring you down actually. Which is why those in concentration camp are given only a set of clothing to last for years. We can't feel good if we don't put on good clean clothes. Clean, that's more importannt.

Hmm, maybe I should start laundry business. But then again it will get pretty routine and I'd get bored sooner.

To everyone who came in for a visit, and left a comment, thank you very much for coming. Didn't want to elaborate writing about laundry because I thought it wouldn't interest anyone, but how wrong I was.

Maybe there should be a club for those who find joy in little things in life like laundry. Anything as long as it's not LAUNDRY ANONYMOUS.

Hi, my name is Bergen and I am a laundriholic.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Laundriholics we all are!! Whatever makes us happy, eh??

Yes, yes!! Batu 9 camp!! Was there for close to 2 years, in 1981 and 1982. Went to Assunta Convent!

4:45 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home