Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love Letters, Hate Mail: Dirty Laundry

The first edition of Love Letters, Hate Mail to Hong Kong.

We know HK flats are teeny tiny. I live in a 400 sq ft place, but it is not unheard of for a couple or family to live in something less than half that. How that works I have not a clue.

Since I don't live in a newer, more modern complex I'm not sure how they work. Nor do I have the thousands of USD every month to find out. So for the very average person like me, we have a washing machine located in our kitchen. Keep in mind my kitchen is smaller than my entryway closet in my old LA apartment. My previous apartment in HK didn't even have a kitchen. This is why there are more restaurants per capita in HK than anywhere else in the world. Anyway, so in this teeny kitchen lies a washing machine. It usually takes the place of the oven. Yes, it's true, Hongkongers rarely have ovens.

So, you have this washing machine. Don't even think about room for a dryer cause there isn't one. You'll see laundry hanging out clotheslines 20, 30 floors up and beyond. I am very spoiled because I have a washer and dryer in one.

The point of this story. I notice that in the warmer, dare I say hotter, months many people smell like wet dogs. You can't avoid it. We rely on public transportation, the sidewalks are crowded, it's everywhere. But I was really fascinated by this "wet dog" body odor. Someone explained to me that since Hongkongers don't really have proper dryers, clothes don't dry thoroughly, and in this humidity everything remains moist anyway.

I'll take this a step further. Today on my lunch break as I was strolling through the grocery looking for carpet cleaner I came across some laundry detergent. There was a sign there that made me believe that Hongkies DON'T use laundry detergent, and should therefore buy some to make their clothes super clean. Are you kidding??? That's gross, but explains a lot.

No comments: