Well, it was finally time to figure out how to use the washer in our apartment. It isn’t that we were stinky (yet) or ran out of clothes (yet), but we didn’t want either of those two things to happen. So, we began by inspecting our washer. It is smaller (way smaller) than our washer in the US. We had a super dooper extra large capacity washer there. By comparison, this washer is about 1/4 the size. So, we figure out what we want to try as our first load, and start investigating the machine. We have to use fabric softner (more on that later) instead of dryer sheets. We also have to figure out how to get the soap in.
It turns out there there is a pull out drawer that you load all of that stuff into (seperate containers) and the machine squirts water into the container and washes out what it wants when. Ooookkkay….that is certainly a change from the US. We measure the softner and put it in the softner place (the bottle said use 1 capful…we think so that is what we try). We open up the soap and can’t find a scoop. It is just a bag so I dig around in it (yep…all the way to the bottom) and never find a scoop. We go get a plastic cup from the kitchen and guess. The load is way way smaller than we would do in the states so we try to guess accordingly (but we don’t want too much because then it will stay in the clothes).
Next, we have to figure out how to tell it what we want. There is only a cold water hookup and a dial you turn to set the water temp. We only used cold water in the US, so this isn’t a big deal…leave the dial set at 0 and hope that it doesn’t try to freeze the clothes and just uses spiggot temperature water. There are two more dials. One has letters that match up with letters in the soap drawer so that should be ok and pictures (that make no sense). By looking in the drawer, it looks like we should choose B. No sweat.
We have no clue what the other dial is for, but it may be a timer of some sort. It is also red. No clue so we skip it.
Next, we have to figure out the three buttons on the front. Push the one on the left…oops it turns on. That must be the power button. Don’t want that yet so we push it real fast. Now, the door won’t open. ARG. We fiddle around and get the door open again and put the clothes in. The other button has a tub picutre and the final button has an e. No clue so we don’t push them either.
After loading the clothes and soap, we start the wash. It spins (a bit) then stops. Then some water squirts in then stops. This repeats itself over and over and over. After many of these things, it starts to sound like a jet engine spinning up. It must be close to the end! Not yet…it rinses the clothes (the same squirt, spin a bit, squirt, spin, etc….) then spins again. We pull them out and hang them up to dry.
We don’t have a dryer (at least we don’t think so, but even if we did, it takes FOR EVER and takes much electricity) so we put them on a drying rack on our balcony (yep, the one with the great view). At least we are on the top floor so people can’t just look and see what kind of underwear the American’s are wearing. I can imagine it now (think of Back to the Future): Your name is Calvin Klien..that is what is printed on your underwear. Therefore, the American’s names must be Haines. Or think of Blast from the Past: I can’t imagine for a minute why Cliff is wearing Ralph Lauren’s underwear. Why are the American’s wearing someone elses underclothes?! But, I imagine if a big gust of wind ever comes along and blows it over, we’ll be all over the building and block. We might as well be prepared for it now.
Anyway, since this first experience, we have tried out different things. We pushed the middle button (with the tub picture) and the e button last night. We woke up to find that the water never drained out of the washer. We won’t do that combo again. Our control dial also has a sun (and 1/2 sun) on it. It looks like when we set the control to that and set the red timer, we do actually have a drier. we are going to try it this evening probably to see what actually happens.