Let’s do laundry

“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


2 thoughts on “Let’s do laundry

  1. Ah, the joys of washing clothes in non-american countries. I remember those lessons in patience from my time in China. Luckily, I lived in a relatively arid place which allowed for clothes to dry relatively quickly. Rainy season was not so easy. We’ll be praying for patience and contentment and low humidity during these minor annoyances of daily living for you guys. We know God’s doing and will continue to do great things through your family!-Chrissy (& Jonathan) Walsh

  2. chuckled all the way through this one!! We had the exact same experiences in Israel – crispy socks and all. BTW, make sure you get that drum closed SECURELY or else you’ll be doing gymnastics to get clothes untangled from UNDER the drum after they fall down there and get caught in the mechanism ;-}

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