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11 July 2011 / leggypeggy

Okay, okay—I’ll do some laundry

Drying clothes on a Turkish Hills Hoist?

I hate hand-washing. Give me a washing machine and a Hills Hoist (the fantastic Australian rotary clothesline) and I will do laundry for everyone in the neighbourhood—heck maybe even everyone on the truck. But I draw the line at hand-washing. It’s torturous busy work and I don’t have the patience needed to get everything even remotely clean. But I’ve been rather proud of myself in Istanbul.

It all started when we upgraded to a room in the hostel! I know, I know. A room is not roughing it. It’s not camping. But the truck can’t drive into the city centre of Istanbul, so it was a choice between a room or a spot in a 30-bed dorm room.

Fortunately, in this hostel—the Orient near the Blue Mosque—getting a room means getting a shower too. So I decided I’d multi-task and wash my clothes while I took a shower. In a rush of enthusiasm, I did this three days in a row. Istanbul was hot and we did plenty of outdoor sightseeing. So while my clothes weren’t really dirty, they were good and sweaty.

Easily remedied! I’d hop in the shower and strip off as I washed each item—rather like losing hands at strip poker but without the audience. And I cleverly used the soap dispenser in the shower as my ‘laundry soap’.

Having washed the clothes the challenge was to get them dry. Also easily solved. There were few hangers in the room and a handy ‘chandelier’, which I prefer to think of as a Turkish Hills Hoist.

This talk of laundry reminds me of doing washing in Ouagadougou (pronounced wa-ga-doo-goo), the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa. That was another one of the rare times we took a room. I scrubbed everything furiously and hung it all out the back of the hotel—almost every hotel in Africa has a clothesline out the back.

Later that evening Poor John went to bring in the wash. He returned with most of it, but said my shorts and hat were still quite wet. I went to check—thinking they must have fallen off the line into the dirt, and that someone had rinsed them and re-hung them. While I was inspecting the two wet items, the hotel’s all-rounder popped around the corner. Earlier that day, I’d seen him mowing, pruning, trimming, sweeping and all sorts of odd jobs around the hotel. We had the following exchange in French.

Him: Your clothes, madam?
Me: Yes.
Him: I noticed they weren’t very clean, so I washed them again.
I’ll bring them to you when they are dry and after I have ironed them.
Me: (Hell’s bells! What could I say but ‘thanks’.)

Moral of the story: Not only do I hate hand-washing—I’m bad at it.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sy S. / Jul 11 2011 10:37 am

    The Blue Mosque is beautiful and I was able to go inside and take a few pictures. About a 5-10 minute walk toward the indoor Bizarre, there is a Turkish Bath… which was great. I am not sure if they have them for women? The food is excellent and my favorite is the cold Yogurt Drinks on a hot day. Also, the fried fish and pretzel like food/bread at the waterfront…. and taking the ferry boat rides on Bosphorus River.

    Getting laundry done in Asia is fairly easy, except if you are on the road in a truck all the time. I recall when I was in Ceylon/Sri Lanka, I had left my suitcase at a home and decided to travel around the country for 1 week… I only had 1 bar of soap, TP and my camera around my neck. And I did wash my clothes as needed in a sink at hostels… ha, ha I even washed myself LOL!

    Sy S.


  2. leggypeggy / Jul 12 2011 1:49 am

    The Blue Mosque is beautiful and amazing. I will post something about it.
    I’ve aways wanted to do a photo series on laundry around the world. Guess I’ll have to keep travelling. 🙂


  3. Louise M Oliver / Jul 12 2011 9:16 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    The Blue Mosque does sound wonderful as does Turkey itself. Have fun with the washing! And the sacrifices you’re willing to make for your fellow humans! I admire your giving spirit in being willing to travel, for however long it takes presumably, so that the rest of us can know what to expect when we want to wash in places new. What a woman!


  4. susan@onesmallwalk / May 24 2019 1:34 am

    LeggyPeggy – I’ve done that trick with washing your daily clothes in the shower, too. Soooo effecient 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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