The Laundry Never Dries!

We have had some trouble of late with drying our laundry. We like the addition of the washing machine in our new apartment, but it doesn’t come with a dryer. Our only “dryers” are the air and sun, which is a bit unfortunate considering that the humidity is upwards of 80-90% most days and the sun doesn’t reach our balcony.

A laundry drying rack has been included in our “inventory” for us to lay our clothes on to dry. After the first couple of times doing laundry and using our rack, we realized that it shouldn’t really take 2 days for clothes to dry. Being the smart people that we are, we utilized a stand-up fan (also in the inventory) to help dry our clothes. Now, instead of two days, we get dry clothes in a couple hours.

Here is our lovely laundry rack with fan set-up. You may also notice that it’s pouring down rain outside. Go figure!

Another thing that adds to our humidity problem is that there is no fan in the bathroom. The moist air from a nice hot shower always permeates the house and condenses on all the windows. Again, this wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so humid naturally. Inevitably the water from the windows drips onto the sills and then down the wall. This resulted in a small mildew problem that was quickly remedied by a wipe-down of the walls with a bit of bleach.

It’s very interesting the problems that arise when it’s humid all year long!

The Neighborhood

I thought I would take this opportunity to show everyone what the neighborhood is like around our apartment. At the first place we stayed I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable wandering around with my camera and acting like a tourist. The neighborhood we are in now seems much more friendly and affluent and I feel much more comfortable here.

Some stats on our apartment:

– We are two blocks from the beach

– We are 6 blocks from a Devoto (a large grocery store chain)

– We are 3 blocks from the nearest chivito restaurant

– We are within 2 blocks of, not one, but four bus stops

– We are within walking distance of Shopping Montevideo (a large shopping mall, about a 20 min walk)

– We are 1 block away from the farmer’s market on Fridays and 6 blocks from a farmer’s market on Wednesdays

– We are within 2 blocks of a bank

– We are 3 blocks from the nearest place to buy fresh empanadas

The neighborhood is mostly apartment buildings that have about 6-10 floors. Almost all the apartment buildings have lobbies with doormen. This means that no matter where you are going or at what time, you are being watched. This may sound a bit creepy, but it’s actually quite comforting to know that if something happened, someone would have seen it and be there to help.

There are a lot of people in the neighborhood which means that the sidewalks are sometimes busy and the streets are sometimes hard to cross (that is mostly because pedestrians don’t have the right of way) during rush hour. Many of the car garages have warning alarms so that pedestrians know to look out for a car coming in or out. These warning alarms always seem to go off late at night or early in the morning. Go figure!

Most of the apartments have balconies or at least large windows. When the weather is good, there is an abundance of laundry hanging out to dry on those balconies, or sometimes the rooftops.

The trees that line the streets are tall, reaching to the 9th floor in some places. At this point, most of the leaves have fallen or are on their way to the ground.

The beach is friendly. People walk and take their dogs to play there most days, weather permitting. It is a great place to throw a frisbee or have a little beach ultimate tournament. The city takes pretty good care of the beach. They rake the sand every once in a while and haul off garbage that the tide brings in. The Ramblas runs along the beach and makes a great place to walk, run, bike, or just enjoy the view while sitting in one of the many benches. I frequent the Ramblas most days for my morning run. There are always people using it!

The neighborhood also seems to have an abundance of construction going on. Fixing the sidewalks seems to be a common occurrence. There are also a couple large construction sites where whole apartment buildings have been demolished and new ones are being put up. Unfortunately one of these sites is catty-corner across the intersection from us. Despite the citizens of Montevideo being generally late risers, this apparently does not hold for construction workers. We wake up to the sounds of construction quite frequently, although it doesn’t seem to bother me much.