Clothes Dryers

Yesterday marked the end of my second week living in New Zealand and the end of my first week of work. There are lots of things to write about life in corporate America versus corporate New Zealand but I’ll save those for another day.

Instead, today I’d like to comment on clothes dryers.  Kiwis apparently are not fond of the things. I live in the city and all of the furnished apartments that I looked at came with both a washer and a dryer, but apparently that is not the norm here in NZ.  Robert (my boyfriend) is a native Kiwi and he thought it hilarious when we met and I asked him why he was hanging up his clothes after he washed them.  I thought his dryer must be broken and when he said he didn’t have one I was speechless.  And when he said that most Kiwis don’t and that they prefer to dry their clothes by hand I had no idea what to say.

I don’t mean to sound elitist, I understand not everyone can afford a washer and dryer and I was one of those people for many years of my life. But here, people CAN afford them and choose not to. I Googled it once and got some sites that said that Kiwis like the fresh air smell in their clothes.  Robert thinks it is because of the cost of electricity. I don’t know, but I am such a lazy bum that I can’t imagine hanging my clothes up to dry if I didn’t have to.  I do it when I’m traveling and feel like I’m roughing it.

And apparently the trend continues even in the city.  I walked through the city today and laughed to notice all of the balconies with clothes hanging out to dry.  And noticed that the stores sell clothes ‘airers’ front and center.  I didn’t even knew what an ‘airer’ was until I traveled in Europe.  Our apartment building is attempting to be more upscale and has signs that say you can’t dry your clothes on the balcony. But of course, people are doing it and apparently the American who stubbornly dries her clothes in the dryer is in the minority.

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