The Drying Dilemma

Before I came to Rome, I had been warned that energy conservation would be practiced more stringently than it is in the U.S. But I had no idea how immediate the impact would be until I walked into my apartment on the first day. Suddenly, I was thrust into a world where you could not do a load of laundry and take a hot shower at the same time. I now had to be careful with how many times I flushed the toilet, and how many lights I left on in the apartment. And if I wanted to be able to wear a pair of jeans I wore on Monday for the weekend, I would have to put them in the wash pronto if I had any hopes for the drying rack allowing me to wear dry jeans on Saturday night.
At my orientation prior to coming to Rome, I had been told that my clothes would have to be hung dry on clothes lines at my apartment as there would be no dryer. The option of bringing clothes to a laundry mat does exist, but it would be inconvenient and pricey. When I arrived at my apartment, however, there were no clothes lines. And, to my surprise, most of my neighbors do not appear to have clothes lines either. Part of me wonders whether this is because it is winter and the locals do not want their clothes to get stiff and cold, but part of me also wonders if this neighborhood or maybe even this part of Italy does not hang their clothes outside. As I have walked around the city over the past few weeks, I have only noticed an occasional clothes line or two jutting out of a high-up window and connecting to the opposite building.
Luckily, my roommates and I discovered two drying racks in our walk-in closet the first weekend after I was the first person to do a load of laundry. I had been dreading the moment when I would have to take my drenched clothes out of the washing machine and hang them on one of the racks, only to wait days, possibly an entire week, to wear them again. These were clothes that were my favorite and that I had brought to Europe because I wanted to wear them, not have them sit on a drying rack for days at a time watching them slowly become dry enough to wear.
Much to my surprise, my clothes were completely dry within a day and a half. This came as a much welcomed shock because I had not brought too many clothes with me to Rome because I did not want to take up too much room in my suitcase and risk having it be overweight for the airline. The relief that overcame me once I saw that it would not take an eternity for my clothes to dry made the elongated stress of deciding which clothes made it into my suitcase worth it. We might not have a dryer in our apartment, but given the miserable, rainy conditions that have been continuously present in Rome since we arrived; having drying racks is nothing short of a God send.


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