Tuesday, April 7, 2009

7. Our Ironing "Walla"

A "walla" is anyone who sells something or provides a service. There are wallas for everything...autos, vegetables, fruit, greens, tea, ironing clothes, newspapers, etc.

These two are some of our ironing wallas, or press wallas. There are several in our neighborhood, one of which comes to our door about two times a week, takes our clothes, irons them and brings them back by the end of the day...all for under $1, usually. The two in the picture are our "back-up wallas." They are located on the sidewalk just around the corner from our house. We usually give them our ironing when the ironing walla that comes to our building has gone to his village or is taking some time off.

If you notice, the iron is huge! It's really heavy, and there are hot coals inside. The walla usually has a pile of black coal on the sidewalk that he puts into the iron. Then he heats the coals up in the iron over a fire. Naturally, most of our clothes have a lovely charcoal smell after ironing, but the ironing is top notch! Not a wrinkle in sight!

It is quite the luxury to rarely iron my clothes, and I am so spoiled because of it! But the coal ironing can quickly cause clothes to fade and look worn. So, I do keep my nicer things and iron them with an electric iron...myself. :-(

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