Monday, February 27, 2012

Back to Basics

As expected my way of life is different here in Spain compared to The U.S.

Spain, in many ways, is very good about conservation, recycling, and consuming only the necessities. Many public bathrooms have timed lights, which can be a pain if they aren't timed long enough. You rarely find paper towels to dry your hands with in the bathrooms. Rather than throwing the trash all into the dumpster there are separate disposal containers for the pieces of trash; for instance: compost, paper, glass, and sometimes batteries. Impressive right?

Now....imagine living without a dish washer, an oven, a microwave, and a dryer. Fortunately, I have an oven and a microwave, but I am lacking a dish washer, which I miss so much, and a dryer. I never really noticed when I studied abroad how basic the Spanish home is. Most all homes have gas stoves, which I love, but my house is one of the few with a hot water heater, meaning that most other houses have propane heaters to heat the water as they use it. In my mind this seems like a characteristic of an undeveloped country, but I know that is not the case. The Spaniards don't see any reason why they need these high-tech machines to do work for them that can easily be done with a little time and patience.

Coming from a country on the majority, every household has a dryer. I grew up in one of these households, therefore, I had to learn a few tricks how to hang my clothes on a clothes line to properly dry, which can be tricky especially if you live in a climate with temperamental weather. At night we have a heavy dew and a high moisture level, but during the day the sun is bright and the wind is usually blowing. So, take these two different weather characteristics into account, and imagine how difficult drying clothes outside can be. Yes, the sun and wind are wonderful BUT the wind makes your clothes hard and crunchy; and the sun fades the colors. Now, at night if my clothes are on the line, they most likely will be damp in the morning, so I never can put anything on the line to dry a few hours before sunset that I want to wear the next day because more likely than not, the clothes WILL be wet. There are the few times that I am afraid my clothes are going to blow off the line, down into the parking lot below, due to the strong winds, but "knock on wood" that day hasn't happened yet. After a few trial runs, I seem to have gotten the hang of drying clothes in the natural conditions. My clothes do have a nice fresh smell to them, which is the bright side of a clothesline! This was an ideal drying day!
                                                                      Back to Basics!

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