Even the appliances are foreign

The last 2 weeks have been a whirl wind of traveling and sight-seeing. My friend and colleague came over or a couple weeks, for the first time, and I’ve been playing tour guide. More about those adventures later.

In between these trips, I’ve figured out some pretty monumental things around the cottage. The appliances here are hard to use. You would think after 50 (or close to) years of appliance experience, I would be a pro. Insert bubble being popped.

The oven and the dishwasher only took a couple tries to figure out. One top burnt/cold middle batch of sausage rolls and a dish load without the detergent releasing is enough to figure out what adjustments need to be made. Why so difficult you ask? In the case of the oven…no words. There is no “bake” “broil” “pre-heat” “convection”…only pictures.

I can convert the Celsius to Fahrenheit, but the pictures…I mean, what the hell?? Well, like I said, I figured it out after a batch of sausage rolls, but some of the settings are still kind of elusive as to their meaning, so I don’t used them….

Dishwasher, again…figured out pretty quickly.

Now, let’s discuss the washer/dryer….O..M…G. To be fair, there are words on these machines. The tub size is small, like an apartment sized stackable set. So once you put in 2-4 pairs of jeans or 5-6 tshirts, you have a full load. The settings look pretty straight forward.

BUT when you choose the “mixed fabrics” on the cotton side, the washing cycle last TWO AND HALF HOURS!! The “cotton Eco” is 3 hours ans 15 minutes. No need to wait for the load to finish….you will waste a complete day on 2 loads! Again, after trying out a few settings, the “Rapid 15/30” and “Rapid 60” are my go to settings.
The dryer, however, took me 2 weeks to figure out….sort of.

Let’s begin by looking at the setting choices. There are 2 sides with 2 main categories… “Easy-Care” and “Cotton”. OK, clear enough. BUT after that it gets a bit cloudy. I want to discuss the “Cupboard Extra Dry” “Cupboard Dry” “Iron Dry” and “Outdoor” settings. Ummm…aren’t all of these options indicating dry clothes? I mean, if I hang things on a clothes line they are dry, albeit very “crunchy”, when I take the clothes off the line..so “outdoor” would mean dry but crunchy, right? “Cupboard Dry”…you certainly want your clothes dry before you hang them in your closet because if they aren’t they could mildew, right? BUT just to make sure, there is the “cupboard EXTRA dry” option…ok, really dry clothes is what I want, so this is what I chose first. This drying cycle took THREE HOURS AND 45 MINUTES. Add this to my 2 1/2 hour washing cycle and I have commited over 6 hours to a SMALL LOAD of clothes. ??!!

Imagine my surprise, when after the eternal drying cycle, I opened the door to a load of WET CLOTHES. 3 freain’ hours drying and I still had WET clothes. OK…fine, I chose “outdoor” next…I’ll take crunchy if they are actually dry…this cycle took 2 hours and 30 minutes. Luckily, I started this load of clothes in the morning and ran some errands in town during the cycles. Open the door after the 2nd try and DAMP CLOTHES. Like really damp, BUT better than before. I choose this cycle one more time and started dinner. 3rd time’s a charm, right? No. Still damp. WHAT THE AF?! I mean seriously! Almost 9 hours in a dryer and I still had wet clothes.

OK, I check the lint trap, clear. I look all around the machime to see if there is a heat element button that needs to be switched on, nope. Then I notice a drawer looking thing on the side that looks like the one on the washer where you put the detergent and the fabric softener.

I pull it out and it’s a tank FILLED WITH WATER. WHAT???? OK, in my head, I’m running through the logic here. Do you need this in the dryer to add steam, like for the “iron dry” cycle? Does it need this to keep the machine from over heating? None of this makes sense, so I pull it all the way out…ok, it can be removed….WAIT! It must collect the WATER!!!! I dumped the reservoir and got online.

What we have here folks, is a condenser dryer! As the name suggests, condenser tumble dryers condense the warm damp air from inside the drum into water, which is then deposited into a container that you have to empty. As this process is contained within the machine, condenser dryers can be installed anywhere in a property. GOOD LORD!

Now, after making sure the resevoir is empty before each load, I have dry clothes within a 2-3 hour time period. I can’t tell you how excited I was to figure this out. GAH. It truely is a foreign country.

Look for my next A-HA moment when I explain how I finally figured out the traffic circle.

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