Laundry basket


This mess of mess and nylon actually unfolds to something that can hold two cubic feet (0.0566336932 m3) of laundry. I purchased this at a street market in Rotterdam and at the time, I was extremely impressed with the physics of this thing. I think I paid five Euros for it (which I would later find out is 37 times its actual value) and I was ecstatic.

Doing laundry in Europe is most unlike our practices in North America. Almost all of the washing machines there are front-loading and can hold about a sweater-and-a-half worth of clothing. In fact, space is so tight in Europe that sometimes a machine will do double-duty as a washer and dryer. There are also no fewer than 64 settings on a European dryer and they all amount to the same thing, viz., your load will take about 180 minutes, and will come out damp.

What North Americans lack in scarves and rail travel, we make up for in spades with our superior clothes-cleaning technology. But it’s the Chinese we must thank for baskets like these. I still don’t get it.