Celebrating Laundry

Tomorrow we are going shopping. This is why:


Washing machine I brought with me to Outpost from Land of the Living is broken. Not my fault, nobody had ever explained why you need to secure the drum in advance of transporting wretching thing. I just thought it was public health and safety nanny state nonsense. So I didn’t bother. For those of you tempted to be as rash, I can now explain why you need to secure bloody drum (with bar provided if you haven’t lost it – I, somewhat predictably had – or several duvets stuffed around it). If you don’t, the machine will, in transit, shake like a jelly in need of a xanax fix and the drum, which -owing to severe anxiety attack – will have spent the three days on the move trying to escape casings, will end up looking like this:


Aluminium foil. Aluminium foil that’s been squished ready to discard. Much as you would sandwich wrappings. Washing machine don’t work when their drums have been subjected to such trauma. Which is when you have to buy a new one.

However, there is an upside. It means we are afforded shopping trip. Not any old shopping trip (you can’t get butter in Outpost, you’re hardly going to get a Phillips Whirlpool), a shopping trip to Mwanza! Our nearest city. A mere five hours drive away. Mostly on appallingly bad dirt roads.

The children are ecstatic: said trip will mean an early rise, a picnic breakfast on the road (washing machine shop closes at noon) a night in an hotel, an icecream (you can’t get those here either) and the opporutnity to trawl the shelves of a supermarket which is so big you need a trolley. Unlike the one here which is so tiny you stand at counter and point to what you want so assistant can clamber shelves to get it for you.

You never thought anticipating putting a load on could be so exciting, did you? No. Didn’t think so. But then you don’t live in the Outpost. I know. Because I know all 8 people here and you – so sadly – don’t count amongst them.


11 Responses to “Celebrating Laundry”

  1. The Good Woman Says:

    More hot tips for our move – you are a mine of info Mem. Actually, we’re not taking a washing machine with us. But would it make you feel any better if I tell you that I know (from first hand expereince) that it is not a good idea to wash your mobile phone in the machine…?

  2. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    I can imagine. Far more traumatic for phone than merely leaving it in rain, as I did with mine. And then when it didn’t work – because full of water, obviously – I put it on charge to see if that’d give it a boost …

  3. jen Says:

    I bought an Italian washing machine on my island home, and then was unable to purchase belts when it broke. Guests are bringing belts in there luggage to help us out! Might be good to have a spare belt…

  4. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Belts? Belts! what are those for then? don’t i just need electric socket, water and box of Ariel? I’ll have a nervous breakdown if I have to cope with more than that.

  5. jen Says:

    I believe the belt makes the tub turn, or whatever turns in a washer. And apparently the tropics eats up belts. Or so I hear. Hope you have an easier time finding one if needed than I have had! (sorry to moan).

  6. Roberta Says:

    My God! How do you get out of bed in the morning?

  7. retrocolonialmama Says:

    It’s ok, a tanzanian fundi can mend anything with a strip of inner tube rubber;-)

  8. So Much the Same « Reluctant Memsahib Says:

    […] lucky, every second day, for a couple of hours, it’s all hands to pumps. Or hosepipes. Or – on account of recent shopping trip – the washing machine. I dare not fill it unless I know tank levels are rising: the family would […]

  9. Iota Says:

    I religiously saved the bar provided for the purpose of securing the drum. When we moved from London to Milton Keynes (clearly not outpost living…), I presented it to the men from Pickfords. They said “what’s that?”. I said “it’s the bar to secure the drum of the washing machine in transit”. They said “oh, we don’t do that”. So I binned the bar (I think I’d be more assertive these days). The machine was fine though.

  10. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Hello Iota! how lovely to ‘see’ you back. You must absolutely be assertive and save bar lest you find yourself Outpost bound one day; I agree – MK not quite as far flung as I am – even if not mere throw from London and you can get a capuccino there: have one for me.

  11. Iota Says:

    Alas, this story dates back to 1998. We are now in the US, still not as far flung as Outpost (although sometimes feels it…). As the voltage is different, we couldn’t bring our electrical items, including my lovely efficient German washing machine. I didn’t know I would miss my washing machine.

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