I saw this man in the street outside our apartment one day. He rolls his cart from block to block, ironing the clothes brought to him by apartment housekeepers. I don’t know how he heated his iron, which was the heavy old-fashioned type.
The norm, apparently, is for one’s housekeeper to do laundry every day, scrubbing garments by hand on a rough stone bench in the small courtyard between apartments. Our apartment has a washing machine, so we chose to do our own wash.
The washing machine (above) has two hoses; you hook one hose to the sink and places the other next to a floor drain. You insert the electrical plug into a wall socket. You add clothes on the left side, turn on the water until you think you have enough, and turn a mechanical dial that causes the machine to agitate for a while. Then you turn another dial to cause it to drain. Then you move the clothes to the right side, which is for spinning; another mechanical dial times the spin. Usually, the water drains too fast and floods the kitchen a little. This process takes a little practice, and a deft touch in the dials.
Either way, the clothes dry on a clothesline strung on the roof. (The roof is flat, with a tiled floor and walls, plus a clothesline on poles.) Of course, this is the rainy season, so it is very humid and rains nearly every day, so we have to keep a sharp eye on the weather.
Someday, we may learn more about the man with the mobile ironing service.