Hong Kong Alphabet :: A.

A :: Airdry

laundry 1

It's an iconic scene in Hong Kong: the apartment block with poles and wires coming out of the windows, looking like not-very-sturdy scaffolding. That is, until you see one loaded with laundry, shirts and towels fluttering like flags above the street. It's a dying tradition here---only the old buildings have these outdoor drying racks, and many are left unused. To my joy, our new apartment has two things--one, a dryer that is actually effective at drying clothes, and two, a clothes line right outside our window.


These things are brilliant, I tell you. We've had backyard clotheslines before, and I've dutifully lugged that wet laundry basket up from the basement and hung it all up, but oh my. How easy is it to just walk across a room, lean out the window, and clip up the towels or shirts? Yes, "leaning out" 20 stories up is a little vertigo inducing, and you do run the risk of dropping that favorite shirt, but what's a little thrill for the price of convenience? In truth, we've only lost one washcloth and that's just because I wasn't paying attention. Ground-floor rooftops all across Hong Kong are littered with such droppings, the colorful remains of a housewife's momentary daydream or an ill-timed gust of wind.

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