We dropped our laundry off yesterday to the place across the street from our hotel in Chiang Mai Thailand that our hosts recommended. It looked like a pretty seedy operation. She took our bag of laundry and threw it into a pile with many other bags of laundry. We were quite dubious as to whether we would see any or all of our clothes again.
Chiang Mai, and indeed Thailand itself, seems inherently chaotic. I think that this is a characteristic about many southeast Asian countries. Streets are confusing, shops are randomly open and closed with no rhyme or reason. This is partially why I assumed that our laundry would get screwed up.
Proceeding on with our day we walked to the Warrorot Market, which is one of the main food markets in Chiang Mai Thailand. There, we saw all manner of strange foods for sale…strange fruits and meats, odd fish, bugs, worms and lots of local color.
Continuing along the river in Chiang Mai Thailand we walked past the flower market, and across to the other side of the river. We had some great pad thai street food along the way (delicious and SUPER cheap) and ended up exploring the wonders of the night market before heading back to the hotel to collect our laundry.
The laundry lady pulled our clothes, which had been put into a plastic bag, out of a pile of other bags within a few seconds (how she knew which ones were ours, I have no idea, as there was no obvious system of tagging in place.)
They had been cleaned, pressed and folded neatly, all for about $2. My assumptions about our laundry lady had been completely unfair.
So, maybe just as it was unfair to assume that the wash lady had no system, perhaps it is also unfair to assume that Thailand has no organizational system. Perhaps there is a system in place, just below the surface and not immediately visible from the outside.
Lesson learned…I will look more closely next time before making assumptions that might not turn out to be true about systems in other countries that I don’t necessarily understand.