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In India, I think they wash everyone’s clothes with the camel blankets. You will have to read my book (shameless plug) to get the whole story. You just lose your sense of smell in India and never notice it until you leave.
In Thailand they request, you wash your own underwear and not put it in the send-out bag. That is the way it is done and I really don’t blame them. Seeing how I was doing my undershirts, anyhow, I just did my laundry.
In the Philippines it takes on a murkier presence. If you send your laundry out you should do a complete inventory upon delivery and pickup. It took me a long time to figure this out; I lost quite a few, favorite, T-Shirts before I realized it. I used to buy dive T-Shirts, in Asia, from everywhere I went to dive. Those would tend to be the favorites of Filipino launderers as well, because those shirts didn’t come back.
Filipinos also think bleach is magic water, and they use it in a ceremonious fashion spilling it and splashing all the while. So your clothes come back with magic spots…looks good!
The bad part about losing your laundry is, employees are responsible for what happens on their watch. If you go into a department store, there are people three deep, checking everything two and three times. If a checker or a laundress makes a mistake, they take it out of their pay. The wage of a worker is so low, about $125.00 a month, if they make a big mistake, it is almost uncollectable or, at least, the amortization might outlive you.
I had a Golf shirt that I paid almost $80 for, and it came back ripped, with a bleach stain. I took it to the laundry, where they did the work, which was in the building, where I liked to stay. The lady said the laundress would have to pay for it. I just couldn’t find it, in my heart to take that much money away from someone, that worked so hard—at ruining my clothes—did I say that out-loud.
In the Philippines Laundromats are rare to find. Most people go into their showers, with a scrub brush and do their laundry, by hand, then bless it with bleach. They just wouldn’t spend the money to use a machine. They also scrub both sides of their clothes, which a machine can’t do. There are people I know of, who have bought washing machines, for their house and the maid or yaya still wouldn’t use it, except to put the bleach bottle on top of.
In Thailand they had washing machines everywhere, I stayed; if for no other reason than to do your underwear.
In India…never mind!