I saw "that rectangular thing" almost everywhere in Sweden. I spotted it again on Holly's Stockholm pictures last month. I didn't really know what it was, or what it was used for. Still, I bought 4 pieces of "that rectangular thing" (pic: left) at Nordiska Museet, each was priced SEK 20, or around USD 3. So you see, how could you resist pretty things in low prices? ;-)
I gave all four to my sister when I went back to Jakarta last August, and as I guessed it, she asked me what it was. I answered her something like this, "oh, I have no idea! It looks pretty, and it's good enough for wall decor, good enough for placemat, or even coaster. You don't want them? I'll take them back, if you don't want them". Then she said, "oh no, no, no, I'll keep them. I think I'd use them for wall decor". Another similar conversation took place again when my mom asked me the same thing. And she raised a much clever idea, "oh yeah, you can use it as flower pot pad, too". Isn't it amazing that rectangular thing has given birth to plenty creative ideas in my family?
So it was a nice surprise(!) to receive another of that rectangular thing from Anneli of Flitiga Myran (pic: right) last September. Without hesitation, I emailed Anneli to solve the mystery of that rectangular thing, and of course, to say thank you for the gift, too. :)
When my sister came here 2 weeks ago, I asked her to bring that rectangular thing along, so that I could snap a picture of the two rectangular things together. My conversation with my sis went on like this, "Could you bring that rectangular thing I brought you from Sweden? You know, the one with blue baroque wallpaper print on it". Puzzled, she said, "Hmm, what rectangular thing?". At the end, she brought me everything that has blue prints on it, including a dish towel. :) Well, it's a rectangle and it has blue pattern on it. Who could've blamed her? I'd do the same if I was her. That rectangular thing is just so mind-boggling.
So here they are. Below is Anneli's answer to my question.
"We call them dishcloth, and we use them to wipe the sink, the kitchen table, the stove etc. Rinse it in water, add just a drop of dish washing liquid and start to wipe. :) You can use it in the bathroom as well. If it gets dirty or starts to smell you can wash it either in the dishwasher or in the washing machine (60 degrees C)".
"It's funny how every day routines seem to look so different around the world, when it comes to things we use. In Australia, they always use Scotch-Brite. Here we use a brush to clean the dishes".
There you go. The mystery has been solved. It's a cleaning pad, it works just like Scotch-Brite! I wouldn't have guessed it. It's just too good-looking to be used as a cleaning pad. :)
And yes, we use Scotch-Brite here, too, pretty much for everything (sink, dishes, stove, kitchen table, bathup, bathroom wall tiles). We also apply a drop of dish washing liquid on the Scotch-Brite. We use damp kitchen towels to wipe any tables in the house, but we seldom use the dish washing liquid on it (unless if the table was rather sticky or oily).
So I learnt something new, thanks again to Anneli. :)