|The all-in-one machine|
Most expats here have washing machines and dryers, so it isn't that uncommon for me to have one. But my ayi says that most Chinese of laboring class do not have washing machines. They use a basin, water, and a bar of soap. In fact, I wash her towels in my washer after she leaves because she insists on cleaning her towels in the basin with her bar of soap. I don't want to force my ways on her, but I do want her cleaning towels sanitary (: I've offered our washer to her for her use (for the towels), and she was able to charade to me that she didn't want to use our electricity. Sweet, but not necessary.
When I walk down one of our local streets, past a hair salon and pet groomer, it's not unusual to see a woman slaving over a bucket of water, washing towels with her bar of soap and water. Then the towels are hung to dry and re-use on customers (ick, says my spoiled American self).
So yeah, it might not seem like a big deal, but having my washing machine and dryer here make me really thankful when I think of how it could be. I think of washing cloth diapers after a blowout, cleaning up baby puke, or getting blueberry stains out of a onesie ( we now do self feeding sans clothes to save the onesies from deathly stains). I'd be scrubbing all day, and up to my elbows in poop (literally!).
So, washer dryer combo, I am grateful for you.
Please keep up the hard work.