Today is Saturday, so I’m keeping busy with my weekly cleaning ritual. This usually takes up the greater part of the day. First, I take my week’s laundry downstairs to the laundry room. The laundry service is included in my rent. It’s a great service, except that they won’t wash women’s undergarments and sometimes my clothes come back with pink spots on them. This means that I have to hand wash all of my socks and underwear as well as the articles of clothing that I don’t trust the laundry service with. I can hang the clothes out to dry on my balcony.
After hand-washing the laundry not given to the laundry service, I go back downstairs (did I tell you that I live on the 4th floor?) to fill up my many 1.5 liter water bottles. I use the water for drinking, making coffee, washing dishes, and brushing my teeth. With a fresh supply of water, I start in on my dishes. I hate washing dishes here! I heat up some water in my electric water heater and then go out onto the balcony with the water heater, a sponge, dish soap, and my big yellow dishwashing gloves. The balcony is a good place to do dishes because it has a drain on the floor. I wash each dish and then rinse it off with the water from the water heater. The gloves are a must because the water is really hot!
The next step in my weekly ritual is to disinfect all of the surfaces in the apartment. There are a lot of ants here. The smell of the disinfectant seems to keep them away. Next, I start working on the floor. I sweep the room and then mop it. Finally, I can start working on the bathroom. Bathrooms in Thailand don’t seem very practical. The shower is not separated from the bathroom in any way so the whole room gets wet when you take a shower. I really hate it. Mold is a problem, so I scrub the bathroom floor with a scrub brush (the mop just doesn’t work for this).
The process of cleaning my apartment takes about 4 hours if I don’t take any breaks. Of course, I almost always take breaks, as I am doing now.