My washing machine phoned me this morning. It called me twice actually, the first time with a 5 minute warning, the second call to confirm it had finished its cycle. It even spoke to me, a flirtatious recorded message asking me to come and collect. Sentakuki-chan (an affectionate form of address for a washing machine) is now top of my address book.
Strictly speaking, Sentakuki-chan is not my washing machine. It lives in a coin laundry a 5 minute walk up the road – anyone can use and abuse it. I chose Sentakuki-chan because it uses hot water, unlike our guesthouse washing machine.
Most machines in Japan only wash in cold. Sometimes it is amazing what Japanese technology can do; it`s also amazing what it can`t. But I suppose cleaning my undergarments would be a challenge for any industrialised nation.