Friday, February 5, 2016
my automatic washing machine. I may even like it more than my 2015 purchased range whose oven keeps a constant temperature while baking. (Love that new technology!) Before purchasing the washing machine we took our dirty clothes to a nearby laundry. They did a wonderful job but it was inconvenient in many ways and expensive too. .
Having my own washer means that we don't have to be so careful of dirtying things because I can wash on MY schedule. There are very few automatic clothes dryers in Egypt and in fact in much of the world outside North America. I don't have one but I do have 30 feet of clothes line off the back balcony. That sounds like a lot but it's used up quickly with just one small load of clothes. Sheets and towels? Well, that takes another day or two so they are usually done on different days. On warn sunny days I can usually get two loads of laundry done but it means scheduling a day at home.
When I hang the underwear I always follow a certain pattern. I hang Tom's undershirts on the outermost line followed by his undershorts, then socks, then my underwear. I did this by instinct so that no one would be able to see a woman's undergarments.
For several years I'd seen clothes hanging out to dry but I'd noticed that I never saw any women's underwear. I was a bit confused because I've seen women's underwear sold on the street from the back end of wagons and the lingerie displayed in shop windows on mannequins is so risque as to make a Hollywood actress blush.
I finally asked an Egyptian friend about my observations. He me told that "women's things" are hung inside the house to dry. When I mentioned that I hang mine on the inner most lines he said that is acceptable also.
He went on to recount with laughter that in his youth he and his friends would walk under the clothes lines on the way home from school so that they could look up and see women's under garments. When I asked about women's underwear being sold on the street he said, "That's different because it doesn't belong to any specific woman.