Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Finally bought a washing machine yesterday. Interesting thing here is that there is an option I've never seen available in the states, called a "semi-automatic" washing machine. I'd seen them before and been very curious. Now I was even more curious as they can have much larger capacities and be nearly half the price of a regular fully automatic washing machine. I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy one new so that I could have it delivered (4 flights of stairs by myself? I don't think so). 56KD for the machine, 10KD for delivery on the day of purchase. That last was unexpected, they usually deliver for free, but not the day of, and the next day was the start of the holiday of Eid. So I forked for it. Anyway, when the guys showed up later, they put it into the kitchen, plugged it in, and said their job was done. I said hold on a minute, how 'bout hooking it up to the water supply? They said they didn't do that part as it wasn't really essential, and anyway, there was no hose attachment that came with the machine. I was a bit torqued by this, and set off back to Al Ghanim to ask where do I get a hose. They said they didn't sell one (naturally), but I shouldn't have any trouble finding one in the nearby souks of Fahaheel. Off I went, from one souk to the next til I finally found something that looked like it might work if I chopped off one end. This I took home and was pleased that at least the one end fit the faucet, and the other end fit inside the tube supplying water to the machine. Unfortunately, I needed a wrench to tighten the faucet connection, so it was not til that evening that I was able to borrow one and get some plumber's tape to finally secure the connection. Thus my first load yesterday was performed by filling up a bucket at the sink and dumping water into the washing machine section til it filled to the appropriate amount...3 times (wash, and 2 rinses). So, by "semi-automatic" I can now say with experience that the 2 things automated are: 1) The agitation of the water and clothes and 2) the spinning of the clothes which gets them about 60% dry. Basically the two actually labour intensive parts of the wash process. All other steps (filling with water, draining, filling again for rinsing, draining again, moving clothes to the spin tub, etc... these all require the intervention of a human being, which has the effect of tying one to the machine for the duration of the wash. It's a much more interactive experience to say the least. While certainly an upgrade from hand washing clothes, it's a far cry from my previous experiences of tossing the clothes and soap in, pushing some buttons and coming back to a finished load. Nonetheless, there is something kind of fun and visceral about it, and overall I'm pleased with it so far. I had already discussed the possibility with Kerri and she had been amenable, to answer the question in everyone's minds at this point.
My other adveture yesterday was going to IKEA and purchasing some needed upgrades to the sleeping situation in preparation for Kerri's arrival (i.e. a mattress). I was disappointed to find that it appears you cannot buy a queen size mattress there for under 60KD, which is quite a lot for what you would be getting at the low end. AS-IS to the rescue! I found a queen size decent mattress with supposed "quality issues" (haven't found anything wrong with it yet) for about 30KD! Also picked up a LACK end table former display model for 2KD which I am using for my new living room setup (moving everything off the kitchen counter). While there I couldn't help picking up a duvet and cover, so I am totally set now! Slept fabulously last night and now I pretty much have everything necessary prior to Kerri and Rowan's arrival.
Except for one thing...a fridge. We have discussed getting a smaller fridge as we never seem to fill the ones we've had previously up. And there is a spot in the kitchen that would be perfect for it (pictured above). Anyway, it's not an urgent item for me at the moment, so I'll put it off til before they get here.
I spent the second day of my weekend cleaning and doing laundry all morning. I still had not done any initial cleaning of the kitchen and cupboards and things. The floors needed swept and mopped (the daily dust collection is amazing), the bathroom cleaned, clothes washed, dried and folded.
I was quite ready for lunch when it rolled around and I wanted my weekly dose of Indian food, so I headed down the road to a nearby place, where my hunger overcame my sense and I ordered way too much food (mmm...chicken cocounut curry...3 kinds of Naan) and ate it all. Whereupon, my body went into shutdown mode and demanded sleep. I managed to pick up some necessaries from the store, came home and fell into the new comfy mattress. I woke up around 4pm...yikes! Hope I can get back to sleep here in a couple of hours or I'm gonna be hurting in the morning.