Wednesday, September 17, 2008

National Treasure Taiwan: The Secret of Laundry

According to her facebook profile, my old roommate Chloe's favorite quotation is:

"I'm in New York, and to say that it is simply hot and muggy here is to mock Mother Nature's ability to make us feel sticky during the summertime."
- the genius, but anonymous, author of the Discovery blog

Now, I've never lived in "the city," but if saying "it is hot and muggy" in NYC mocks Mother Nature's ability to make us feel sticky in the summertime, describing Taiwan as such must be like repeating that joke that your weird uncle tells at every Thanksgiving, even though you stopped laughing once you stopped wearing Underroos. That is to say, it's fucking hot here and it's getting old.

Of course, I have conquered the heat in small ways--today I figured out how to take the (air-conditioned!) bus from my apartment (or close enough) to my school instead of the bus to the subway to the last stop on the line where I leave my bicycle and ride for 2 miles in the oppressive heat. The ride should have been so easy; the road is flat, but it is tree-less and until yesterday, I had no basket in which to leave my backpack which felt like I was wearing a down comforter under the Taiwanese sun. Now, I no longer have to explain to my students why teacher Vicky is always dripping with sweat during first period. Victory is mine!

But that is, of course, a small victory in the grand scheme of things. In this land of perpetual sweat-stains and NO DRYING MACHINES OR LAUNDROMATS IN SIGHT, I can't even wash my clothes correctly. My attempts to desiccate my laundry using a drying rack, a dehumidifier, and an air-conditioning unit have left me with a wardrobe that reeks of mildew. Which smells slightly like urine. Gross.

Anyone who can unlock the secrets of laundry will gain great esteem in my eyes. Perhaps this hero will even be ranked alongside the great Benjamin Gates (played by Nicolas Cage) of National Treasure. Seriously, think about it.


Oliver Yang said...

Since Taiwan is so hot (I bet you can feel the heat!), drying machine is not so popular, especially in southern Taiwan. If you're looking for laundromat, I helped you to check Yahoo Taiwan. Here is the link to the search results. According to the results, I found this might be the closest laundromat to your apartment.

Good luck, Ms. Chao.

費凱蒂 Katie said...

You know, I took a few pictures of my last drying rack o' laundry with the plan to do a similar blog, but decided against it and put up unhelpful pictures of my dehumidifying bags of water instead. But props to you for literally sharing your dirty laundry with the internet. Though I guess it's not as dirty, post-washing.

Matt said...

Same issue with the lack of dryers here in Japan...
I hang my clothes right outside my window, with the included Clothesbar, which resembles a clothesline.
You don't have one of either? The sun bakes the clothes, then the typhoons give them an extra rinse for free, and then after 2 or 3 days they're fully dry.

The teacher who used to own this house left a sweet plastic contraption that hangs from the clothesbar and contains a few dozen plastic clothespins, arranged in a grid - i'll show you a pic