Coffee and the Laundry…

Front-loading washing machine

Common Russian Washing Machine...

Russia has a way of bringing back many memories from the old days in America. I have said many times and will most likely say a whole bunch more times, “Russia is just like America was 40 to 50 years ago…”

This is true in almost all aspects of life in Russia. Russia is strange in that way…

You can find the most advanced things on earth in Russia but when it comes to everyday life. The simpler things in life prevail. So as I was drinking that morning cup of coffee and trying to get some housework done and be quiet at the same time. (Sveta has the flu now…) I was thinking about the contrasts between Russia and America…

I grew from a dirt poor farmer type family with teachers for parents, to a very successful business man in America. I have had the world by the tail and have lost that tail several times. That is America! I see the same in Russia but with a major concession…

Russians for the most part have not let go of the old way of doing things. An example that comes to mind is, laundry. You will find Russians do have a washing machines. But a dryer is another story. Drying clothes by a machine is just not considered that good. Drying clothes outside is the best. So even though they can afford the dryer, you just do not see a lot of them around… (even for sale at the stores)

Now when I say a lot of Russians have washing machines that may be a lot of fallacy on my part. I should say that people in Moscow have washing machines. It is so common to do laundry by hand in the bathtub, that at a big shopping store, when you go to the detergent aisle, you will find,  many times as much detergent for washing clothes by hand than with a machine. In fact in Auchan one of the biggest stores in Russia, they have a huge aisle that is full of nothing but laundry detergent. One side is all hand wash detergent and the opposite side is machine wash. The hand wash is cheaper detergent and I use it for machine washing also… 🙂

Now lets get back on the trail of this particular story. I was thinking more in line of that fact that Russians like to hang their clothes outside even in the winter. I have acquired that habit now and have strung clothes lines up in our small balcony area. It is as cold as the outside and I crack the window to it for ventilation. I am doing what 75-80% of the flat complex does and we dry our clothes as close to the outside that we can. If you live in an older part of the complex they have trees and such. You can find clothes lines strung between all the trees and frozen clothes are hanging everywhere. It is really a neat sight to see sheets frozen stiff and bent in the breeze…

We ourselves have frozen clothes (just more hidden) and they sublime the ice away over several days and finally become dry. They also always smell so fresh and not like dryer perfume scented sheets…

Oh and on our floor there is 5 flats and only two of us have washers. No dryers! That seems to be a pretty good example of what I see elsewhere in the city…

Why do they not have washing machines and dryers when you can afford them? Simple, they feel that the clothes are better washed by hand and dried in the open air. It is better for you and the clothes… (And they are not a lazy people on top of it. Why not do it by hand? It falls into the way they clean rugs: Take them outside and beat the dirt out of them. Forget vacuum cleaners! But that is another story…)

That is why I love Russia…

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given...

A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?

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