- fattieja posted this
Jamaica is not like the States, especially when it come to laundry. The majority of households do not own a washing machine and most definitely (almost always) do not own a dryer. If you are lucky to come across a hostel with a washer or a host-family with one, then you are blessed; like I had been.
Though it still will cost you a crazy amount in the opinion of my roommate and myself to use the facilities 1500JMD ($17.34 USD) EVERY load. This seemed a bit extreme, though I had been willing to pay because I realised it was how it had always been with the previous volunteers. My roommate though, had a different idea of this and ultimately lead to the, somewhat embarrassing and awkward conversation, with our host family. Needless to say, they allowed us not to pay anything which I wont lie, really helped with my financial situation from then on.
- To avoid a potentially awkward run in with your host-family, come prepared with the laundry knowledge. What is this you say? Be prepared to pay for the washer. It uses water and electricity which obviously raises their bill. Keep in mind also, that they do not wash as often as you may and there for keep the bill pretty low. Also, In Jamaica they use water tanks and not a piping system which means they have to have people come refill the tanks for the shower, kitchen, and anything else that requires water. It IS going to be expensive, especially if you plan on keeping up your cleaning routine like you are used to back home. But that is just it, you are not home, so try to adjust to your surroundings accordingly.
However, the majority of volunteers did not have a washer and had to wash all their clothing by hand. We are all very used to the finer things in life, so much so that the excessive technology for others has become a necessity for us. Though it is important to point out that the Caribbean weather is quite different from the rest of the world, and where it is doable to hang your clothing out to dry during the day in Jamaica, it is impossible in a place that snows, obviously.
There is a possiblity that there are laundry mats around your area, but don’t count on it. If you do happen to find one, chances are it way further then you wished it would be. Meaning, one, two, and possibly three taxi rides to your destination. Walking to and from each taxi stand, lugging around all your baby puke and sweat stained smelly laundry in a packed to the brim taxi cab. HA! Pretty funny right?
- You will be doing your laundry in the sink or outside, do not kid yourself. Buy some solid soap sheets like this one. (Sorry for the annoying URL, for some reason the attach link isn’t working **http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000Y0CL8K/worldscheapes-20** I cant really coach you much on this side of things, but this is how my lovely second Jamaica laundry trip is looking. So, I better start learning a thing or two, too.
So, this whole Laundry situation is important to know when packing. Which, I had gave little thought about apparently. Ohhhh, so you are telling me that the more clothes you pack, the more you need to wash? Meaning more loads? More money? AND more trouble? Wowwww, who would have known?
- Pack light. Jeggings are the heaviest clothing option you should go for. Anything more seems like a disaster.
- Buy clothes hangers to hang outside on the wire (assuming they have one and you are able to utilize it). Otherwise, youll just be hanging it over a rail or on a tree branch… hell I really am not sure. I am hoping the first is an option. GOODLUCK, damn laundry.