“All right, Lydia, let’s figure out this washing machine,” I proposed one morning shortly after our move to the new apartment.
I had just gotten used to the large washer at our temporary place, and now I needed to learn this new European model. (This is the kind where you open the lid from the top and open the drum manually before loading.) But, hey, it’s just a washing machine. How hard can it be?
I consider myself a well-educated person.
I have three degrees from three universities.
I enjoy logic and puzzles.
I have a good sense of direction and spacial intelligence.
I could not, however, figure out this blasted machine.
Our “khazhaika” (owner) told us this was practically new and left the multi-language instruction manual for us. Great! English was towards the back, following Polish, Serbian, Czech, Russian, Arabic, and a host of other tongues. I diligently read the manual learning where to add laundry soap and find the power button. But what about all the mysterious “icons” on the selection dial? I recognized the universal symbol for cotton and wool, but the up-teen others baffled me. I needed a decoder ring — or at least another machine manual as the one in my hands gave no indications about the symbols. I read, “See guidelines for selection knob”. Well, where was that? I was lost.
I decided to rely on my higher education and cognitive powers to start a load anyhow. Both failed me — twice!!
The first load ran only 15 minutes. Gee, that’s fast, I thought. Well, of course the load runs fast when you set it on the last spin.
The second load ran a bit longer, but with no water. I guess that happens when you neglect to turn the water faucet on.
The third load was more of a success, but I know the temperature was not correct. (Note to self: learn Celsius)
Ultimately, the laundry did get washed, and I have run several successful loads since then. The key was actually finding the “guidelines for the selection knob” sheet that was left on a bedroom windowsill. My decoder ring! What a difference it makes when you speak “washing machine” language.
Of course, washing is half the battle. Next comes drying…
We do not have a drier. Most people do not. We hang on racks, and now that we have heat from one radiator, I drape over that. The challenge is the dampness of our apartment. Imagine trying to dry out your wet clothes at camp in the woods, and you’ll come close. I am forever feeling articles of clothing to assess their level of dryness and rearranging on the rack to get better access to our newly purchased heater. Folding then comes in spurts — one “crispy” pair of socks now, a stiff shirt or two in an hour, etc.
So there you have it: a peek into my domestic life. I’ve made friends with the washer and learned patience with the drying. May you also make a friend today and learn some patience. 🙂 Diana