All that talk of laundry yesterday and I didn't post a certain picture. On our train ride from Cairo to Alexandria last week, I started taking pictures out the window of some of the clotheslines we passed.
I like clotheslines. I like making guesses about people's families based on what clothes are drying in the breeze. You can tell how many kids a person has, whether those kids are young or old, boys or girls. You can even tell if the mom in the family is veiled or not. Long, densely packed clotheslines always get a sigh of sympathy from me. The ones with heavy robes or jeans or blankets hanging on them do, too. Laundry is hard work (and you can bet I'm not the only one in Cairo without a washing machine).
In Syria I would look at clotheslines to get tips on how to hang things so they dried faster. For example, I used to hang jeans in half over the clothesline. Then I looked around and noticed all the Syrian ladies were hanging their washed jeans pinned up at the cuffs and hanging upside down. Same with socks (pinned at the toes). I also learned from strangers' clotheslines the trick where you double up the clothes just at the edges so you can use fewer clothespins.
Here in Cairo, as far as my own personal laundry goes (when I'm not paying someone to do it, ha ha), I am using an indoor drying rack that we bought (grudgingly). The apartment has an outdoor laundry line but it faces a huge, dusty field. I'm sure you can guess what happens to damp, clean clothes when they hang in the breeze over a huge, dusty field. Yeah.
Anyway. Please enjoy this collage of the clotheslines of Egypt (click to enlarge).