Since I don't have a car yet (container packed with a car and our stuff has yet to leave the UK), I am pretty much housebound so I thought writing on this very exciting subject would be appropriate.
We still haven't got a washing machine. After running out of clean pants (actually, just before that), I decided to call on Juliet's help again to hand wash a bit of laundry. She asked me to buy a special laundry soap (a blue bar measuring about 50 cm so delicately scented), which is what most people use in Zim, and I showed her my very precious pack of imported non-bio Fairy powder. Laundry powder is expensive here and not good quality, so I was very proud to stick one of those in our hold luggage when we came for our 'recci' visit in October. No washing lines could be found anywhere, so we put the lot to dry on our wired fence. Job done.
Now, apparently in Zimbabwe, some little bugs lay their eggs on fresh laundry and you are at risk for those to gently nest into your skin and develop into beautiful worms. Obviously you don't realise you are hosting one until a little worm comes out of your skin and says hello. For that reason, every single item has to be ironed here. I decided to start the task using the ironing board that Ben had by miracle found, and subsequently bought, by the side of the road. Not such a good idea after all. I have a cramp in my wrist after just three knickers and four socks (the board is bending) and the cover is full of holes (it doesn't take the heat). I put a towel on top and carry on anyway only to realise that our t-shirt have gone shapeless, my Egyptian cotton towels look like they're coming out of Primark, the whole lot smells of cheap soap and a third of my precious powder has disappeared from the box. Juliet's hard work has paid off in making sure everything is spotlessly clean but that's not been very cost effective!
Ben's now in the process of buying a washing machine. And what a surprise, they are very expensive here. Whilst shopping around, he thought second hand would be a great option. He promised me that the one he saw looked fine, not too dirty or dated (I asked about yellowed plastic as a sign) and was even a branded one for a mere $150! So here comes the washing machine... and what appears to come straight out of the 70's (with this delicious brown finish). How cool, a 40 year old machine, can't wait to see how that works! In order for it to work, it needs a hot pipe to be fitted i.e. a day's plumbing work. Should I be sad that it is not working after all? Our hunt for the best buy washing machine is ongoing.