When good (washing) machines go bad…

In western society we underestimate the importance of our household machinery working well, and the degree of inconvenience that is caused when it ceases to function as it should. A broken washing machine, as I have today discovered, is most inconvenient indeed (especially when it breaks mid-cycle whilst washing all but one of your towels, and your washing basket is groaning with the weight of unwashed garments needing to be cleaned).

It’s at times like this it becomes clear just how spoiled we westerners are. In the third world washing machines and such like are little more than flights of fancy. Clothes are washed in rivers or streams using bars of soap (if they’re lucky enough to procure them), and food (when available) is cooked on open fires or gas hobs, with small portions of rice being shared between whole families. I don’t want to sound preachy, but when things that we consider to be part of everyday life break down it’s helpful to remember that those things are not essential to our survival, but rather luxuries that we have come to rely on as such.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find the nearest river and a bar of soap…

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