There's a gentle hum from our balcony this morning, and I'm pleased to report that it is not one of the many forms of megabug that live around here, but instead it is our new washing machine, churning a load of laundry in soapy water.
Undoubtedly a boring subject, washing machines, yet, I feel that the washing machine now rigged up precariously on our balcony and the new electric water heater in our shower represent something important for us in Thailand. Having a handful of creature comforts are the things that make life abroad more sustainable. Taking cold showers every day and hauling our clothes around to the old student dormitory washers on campus was definitely wearing on me.
There is some part of me that craves the adventure that I associate with living in a village without electricity or running water. One of my childhood friend spent two years in rural Rwanda with the PeaceCorps. I imagine that her experience was far more difficult than my packing of laundry into the truck every weekend to take it to the washing machines. I don't think she had hot showers, either.
For every part of me that craves the hard-core adventure, there are two parts that want something less difficult, a controlled experience. Drive into the jungle for a few hours, then come home to a warm shower and clean clothes.