Somewhere in Japan

Dispatch № 22: The Laundry Forecast

35°51’04.9″N 139°39’16.3″E

A long metal pole has invaded my living room on several occasions. Supported with a camera tripod on one end and a light stand on the other, it is always festooned with sodden garments that didn’t make it inside before the rain arrived.

Normally, freshly washed clothes go from the washing machine directly out to dry on the two long poles that, under normal conditions, run the length of our balcony. This is true all year round, and there is no dryer, so there is no real alternative.

However, Japan gets rain with a regularity that often makes drying laundry a challenge, sometimes requiring creative problem solving (such as using my photo equipment for laundry purposes).

And besides checking the weather forecast for all the usual reasons, I check it daily to help me better plan my laundry strategy in the immediate future.

Many questions come with this.

Any good laundry days coming up? Any in a row? Will the towels have enough time to dry before the next rain? What are the chances that the approaching typhoon arrives early and my underwear winds up in the neighbor’s tree again?

Air-drying your laundry has its advantages, despite the relative inconvenience of it. Aside from rainy season, when things can develop a bit of a funk, your laundry pretty much always smells good. It also puts far less wear on your clothes than a tumble dryer. Lower energy bills, to boot.

Still, dryers are convenient, and if I ever achieve the sort of success that might prompt someone to do something like upgrading their car, I might instead buy a dryer. Not to use very often, but to have on hand for extended wet periods and typhoons.

And, you know, to keep my underwear out of the trees.

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David R Munson

Photographer, essayist, wanderer, weirdo. Everything is interesting if you give it an honest chance to be.

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