The Laundry Dilemma

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"The machine told me it needed 20 minutes to sort out my mess." Amos is a journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa.


"Hi, My name is Amos, Amos Mananyetso if you care about formalities. I am a 29-year-old journalist from South Africa. I am currently in Cardiff, Wales, attending a journalism course.

As it turned out to be, my learning has not only been confined to the four walls of the classroom. I have just learned how to wash my own laundry and iron my clothes. It was for the first time in my life that I had to do this. You can blame it on people who spoilt me rotten from the time I was born.

My first trip to the Laundromat was an intimidating experience as I did not know where to start. But some friendly and useful display of tips and information made me feel at home. All I needed to do was pick a washing machine, throw in a tablet of detergent before placing my dirty garments in the drum. This is not a free exercise though - I had to part with some few coins to get the action under way.

I then selected the washing action suitable for the type of clothes I had in the machine. The machine told me it needed 20 minutes to sort out my mess. And I thought it will be a good idea to catch up on some reading while I wait for my dirty clothes to undergo the transformation.

Twenty minutes later, it was time to move the wet cargo from the washer into one of the dryers on the opposite side. This time, the machine told me a different story altogether; it was to be a good 40 minutes before my clothes would be dry.

But I did not mind as the book I had on the day provided me with the much needed entertainment.

When the dryer ground to a halt after almost an hour, I tip-toed towards it with suspense but got so relieved when the first piece I took out felt as dry as a leaf on a winter morning. I have to say the folding process is not a bit exciting but I laboured through it patiently, for the sake of getting it right the first time. And eventually, I was out of there.

Oh no, not another new challenge. It was time for ironing, but once I figured out how to assemble the ironing board, and filling the iron with water for the steam to give me the desired result, it was smooth sailing.

At the end of the day, the feeling was priceless and I proudly displayed my shirt for everyone to see."

This is one of a collection of Digital Stories made by international journalists studying with the Thomson Foundation in Cardiff on a special course during the summer of 2007.

By: Amos Mananyetso
Published: September 2007

Your comments

"Hi! I'm proud of you. At least you learned something and keep up the good work."
Bobo, Sourh Africa.

"Hey Amos, It's really a wounderful story. It's really nice to have and experience in another country and the same time studying. Keep up the hard work and the good storytelling."

"Mwana, this was nice, I hope you keep up the DIY spirit.And about digital story telling skills - keep practising, you really have the talent."
Michael Ssebbowa from Uganda.

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