Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Washing Machine Chronicles

So when we moved here, we bought a washer and dryer (and had the landlord build us a laundry room on the back porch) because there is no such thing as a laundromat here and my people have lost the ability to hand launder more than our dainties.

In the two years since then, the washer has given out, one small piece at a time.

Stupid stupid washing machine.

First the cold water intake stopped taking in. I had a repair guy come look at it. No clue.

So we got around it by turning off the hot water heater in the laundry room and routing all the cold water laundry through the hot water hose. Good enough.

Then the cycle between "G" and "H" stopped cycling. For the uninitiated, that means the wash and rinse water would drain, but the spin cycle wouldn't start. So the laundry doer had to go out and manually move the knobby deal to 'spin' so it would finish the load.

Repair guy summoned. No clue.

Lest you be thinking that I need to replace my repair guy, let me say he (or they- there's a squad of them) are usually geniuses. They fix my generator and my air conditioners, they stop leaks, they re-wire lights. But this stupid stupid washing machine had them stumped.

Meanwhile, the plastic hose attached to the plastic fitting on the plastic back of the stupid stupid washing machine would pop off regularly since there was no way to make the plastic collar that held the plastic hose onto the plastic fitting fit tightly enough to withstand more than a few days of water pressure in the line.

So if the laundry doer forgot to turn the water off (and I would never name any names here, but his initials are C-O-O-P-E-R) there would be an eventual flood on the laundry porch...

This was all part of life Chez Us (notice how fluent I've gotten in French since our recent trip), until this week.

Cue Mark at the door.

"Madame," (that's me) "the washer is not right."

Cooper was theoretically doing laundry (he made a deal with me a couple of years ago that if I wouldn't nag him about his dirty clothes, he would do his own laundry. I thought about it for two seconds and then said, "DEAL!"), but he had gotten interested in something else and completely spaced on his load of washing.

Unfortunately, the washer chose that load to go ballistic on.

It had been sitting out there on the the porch, for way too long, filling a tub full of drain holes, waiting to become full so it could agitate, in a machine that had lost the ability to shut off the outflow of water from the tub.


Mark had noticed the flow of clean cold water coming from the pipe that goes from our house to the storm ditch out front and followed it back to the merrily pumping washing machine.

The washer we left behind in the U.S. is the one we purchased from Sears in 1986. Is there a reason why the one we purchased here should only last two years???? Gah.

Anyway, that was the last straw.

When Ted got home, I gave him some space, a haircut, a clean towel and a smooch.

Then told him I was going to pound the stupid stupid washing machine into tiny pieces of stupid stupid plastic and we would need a replacement ASAP.

He wisely agreed with my plan (after talking me out of the actual physical destruction of the SSWM), and Thursday morning Duke and I went out to buy machine #2.

Of course, the silver lining is the Ghanaian rule regarding large purchases (and this has been true of the washer/dryer, fridge, satellite dish, desk, kitchen island, et al). You buy it and the merchant asks if there is someone at the house to take delivery.

Like right now.

Sometimes, the delivery truck just follows us home. Sometimes, we don't even get home before they arrive with our purchase.

None of this "we have you scheduled next Thursday between 1 and 5..." business.
You buy it, you get it. Right now.

And as I've mentioned before, nothing in this country that plugs in is sold without proving to the customer that it actually works, and that goes for washing machines. The guys brought it, hooked it up, ran it through the cycles, and... voila! I have a washer that works again.