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26/07/2011

The laundry


At 5 o’clock am six days a week he lifts the doors up to uncover a single-eyed green giant hungry machine ready to be filled with white or colored items tumbling and turning all around. The laundry of Eddy offers a quick service in a semi-traditional way.


Into the eye of the green giant! Photo (C) Ibrahim Chalhoub.
Into the eye of the green giant! Photo (C) Ibrahim Chalhoub.

podcast_laundry.mp3 Podcast_Laundry.mp3  (260.42 Ko)


The heat rises exponentially with every meter stepped into the place to be compared to a sauna center near the ironing area.
An old laundry started with the father and the uncle more than 50 years ago went, after the necessary arrangements, to the son, who learned the craft from his family and tried to develop it within the financial limits imposed by the market.

In the washing section, old fashion washers stand beside newly released models each used for cleaning specific items. They are all fully functional and work 12 hours a day. “Where do you want me to wash bed linen?” commented Eddy, the owner, upon the astonishment to the presence of a more than 40 years-old never-seen-before washer. New models are used, more often, for washing clothes.

Oh! Yes. Eddy personally works in his laundry along with his wife and 2 employees.
There, Eddy is responsible for the washing and drying along with the professional removal of stains from clothes, which is considered a secret passed within the family. His other role involves fetching items from the homes of clients and dispatching them back after cleaning. A tiresome process he performs 4 days a week from 8 in the morning till almost 3 o’clock in the afternoon using his old white car, which has memorized the roads since the time it was driven by the old man until its utilization by the new owner.
The wife’s role is a major organizing process without which the whole work would be inefficient especially in terms of cost-effectiveness.

After the washing, comes the drying phase with Eddy in full action, utilizing old as well as new dryers. “It all depends on the item” said the owner to explain his decision about which machine to use. “Some clothes cannot withstand the heat tumble drying of new machines which necessitates the use of more controllable old devices”.
“The first time one sees them, he would think they’re old fashioned junk, but after watching what they do, he would understand that most of the hard work cannot be done without them”, added Eddy to explain the importance of the traditional instruments in his daily work.

If you feel cold during winter, you can stand in the ironing area, but you will most probably need to remove some of your clothes. Here, the heat becomes unbearable within the first minute, but here, too, the good appearance of clothes is the crucial result.
Using hand-held or pressure ironing, every employee has his own specialization in the craft. One would think it is easy to iron clothes, but upon watching the techniques used and the time every item takes to end up with an elegant shape, one would be compelled to change one’s mind.

“People send they’re clothes to the laundry for the efficiency of cleaning, the professional ironing or dry cleaning which is not readily available in homes”, answered Eddy to the why question. He also added that bed linen and large items cannot be cleaned outside the laundry.

“Another traditional work in the laundry is replenishing faded colors from clothes with a special dye that is still requested, but rarely”, was the final addition provided by the owner.

After all this, you would be willing to pay any amount to compensate the excellent work done by professionals, but you would be astonished to know how low the price is.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea to go and see what you are paying for to be able to wear your clothes?

Check out the below slideshow. There’s a lot to see!

Music: D’angelo from the album “The Butcher's Ballroom” by Diablo Swing Orchestra.



Par (dernière modification le 26/07/2011)





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