Owning my Life Free and Clear

When I pay for laundry, I do not own my life free and clear, because I agree to follow a social contract that says,
"Foreigners have their laundry done."

However, my laundry cost more than one days Hotel room, this is proportionally economically wrong, I am following the wrong examples.

Using the laundry in Panajachel, Guatemala has create economic turmoil in my life, every time I pay for my laundry I feel guilty.

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Monday, May 17, 2010
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com


It does not help the prices are impossible to understand,

Then, they put the laundry in an ecologically green plastic bag, and then increase the carbon footprint by tying clothes into small bundles with ribbons, this marketing crap frustrates me, I do not want to be sold down the river, come on, learn the word "congruent."

Generally, foreigners around Lake Atitlan do nothing all day, they occupy themselves by spending money shopping, doing massage, yoga, meditation, drinking or smoking dope.

Spending this money when you have a job rather makes sense…

If I am paid 20 dollars per hour.
I pay 10 dollars for laundry, I net and extra 10, but if I was paid 7 dollars an hour, I would lose 3 dollars.

I do not work, therefore I lose 10, I want to live my life free and clear, I do not my budget enmeshed with shopaholics. A person needs to be careful; going along with the crowd is always the wrong investment.

Owning my Life Free and Clear


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Still wearing "Tighty Whiteys" I see.

Chuck, tell us your version of what is happening in Thaiand.

Or, send to me, and I will post on the Blog.

Thanks Andy

I'm presently in U.S.A. but here is some very good reporting and non-biased views from a western citizen/teacher and Bangkok resident. Daily updates on whats really happening.


Will be returning around thanksgiving time and hopefully this will all be over.
Looking forward to cheaper rents,flights,stronger dollar as it will take Thailand some time to recover from this mess.

$2 a week, wash-dry-fold, acceptable.
Baht20/5kg, wash only, sun dry at hotel.
can't use your hotel's washer? -- free in Taipei hostels.

Laundry, a drag. Read this awhile back,
Never tried it, perhaps a system that could work.

Don't sweat the small stuff! Live a little and enjoy your tourist(ouch) price laundry service.


LOL - the worries of a "serious" traveler who is trying to get by on the cheap. What profound problems you have.
There is a sink in your hotel room? There is a shower in your hotel room? Ummm sink (shower)+water+ detergent = clothes get clean. Does not seem to difficult if one is bothered by an "over priced" (From what you are saying in your story) laundry.

I find for myself that it is always easier to take pot shots at what others are doing/saying/charging vs. what I need to do to get on with my life. Oh, heaven forbid that I should just share what is going on with me and what I am doing to survive/earn money / entertain myself/ etc. Then I would be open to some true responses to what I am doing!
Keep the updates coming Andy. Love your potshots and judgements of how others are living their lives.

I continue to travel and work very little and the tourist that pay tourist prices live a little and need to go home and work.

You are right, they can live a little.

followup: OK anytime you pay "local" price list (yea, locals pay tourist prices too--
life is hard). walk a few blocks to "locals only" neighborhood if you really want to "live".
last month we did that in Kuta-- Internet: Rp12,000--5,000 Rp10,000/10 satay ayam
Rp8,000 Padang Masakan Rp2,800 McD very large cone. aloha,

Andy, those are high prices for Guatemala (8 Quetzal per dollar) and the prices are structured in such a way so that you pay even more (you pay a fixed amount even if your clothes do not reach the weight limit). Isn't there competition in Panajachel? I would be out looking for alternatives (someone's washing machine, someone else's service, etc).

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, my laundry bill averaged about 90 baht every 6 days, wash, fold, and iron (30 baht per kilogram, about 2.8 kilograms on average, 24 hour or less turnaround). That comes to about $14 per month which is easily worth the upgrade in my life for not having to do my own laundry. It looks like your place in Panajachel is about twice the price.

Here in Medellin, Colombia, a place much more expensive than Panajachel, I paid my hostel $2.50 to use the washer (they did the wash, any amount of weight, then you had to hang your own clothes, they had excellent drying area). I now have my own washer in my apartment, so I guess that is savings of $15 per month right there off the rent.

I think faced with your choice, I would search assiduously for alternatives. If I found nothing, I might save up everything, do a big wash ($2.85) once in a while, and then dry myself, assuming you have a place to do it. For undies and socks and simple shirts, I might try the sink (or your bucket), so you can do the big washes less frequently. This would be more work and keep your laundry bill at about $10 per month.

Dude, I got rid of all my whites during my travels. Try it, you will never look back!!!


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