Chuck, tell us your version of what is happening in Thaiand.
Or, send to me, and I will post on the Blog.
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.
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!!!