Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Am So Sick of This Topic

Really I am. But it is consuming me.

A few weeks ago, I put the bathroom rug into the washing machine and set it off on its merry journey.

When I returned and opened the washer door (as the "I'M LOCKED!" light was off), a sea of soapy water splashed out on the bathroom floor.


I slammed the door and turned the dial to what should have been "SPIN ME," but the washer simply commenced to fill (with more water) and agitate.

Sort of like how I'm agitated now.

A call was placed to the landlords' Man Friday. (Our landlords live in Shanghai, so the fact they are Americans and speak English doesn't really help me at times like these.) Man Friday arranged for Washer Repair Dude to come the following day.

In the interest of not wasting WRD's time, I drained, teacup by drippy teacup, the water that was in the washer. This involves opening a little valve on the front of the machine and right at floor level, a design that makes it impossible to put any reasonably-sized container underneath in which to collect the water that seeps out. The polar ice caps are melting faster, I swear.

Tired of squatting on the floor like some indigenous woman, I opted to hunker on my children's red, plastic IKEA kid chair between the washer and the bathroom sink, crying because I was so annoyed with my life.

Yes, I know the world has deeper levels of suffering. The big problems I can cope with. Swine flu? The economic crisis . . . which caused me to elect to forgo a trip this school break and spend more time getting to know Moscow? Bring it on.

But a malfunctioning washing machine is my Achilles heel.

I could only fit about a third of a cup of water into the little plastic IKEA faux-Tupperware container I was using and even then twice that amount of water would leak down the sides of the machine and onto the bathroom floor.

It took about 45 minutes and three bath towels to drain the water.

Now I had a sopping wet IKEA bathroom rug and matching towels. I put the rug in the bathtub and hung the towels so they would not drip on the floor.

WRD arrives as scheduled the following day. The Spouse returns home for the appointment so I do not have to try to mime concepts like "It won't drain" or "I think the dial no longer matches the function it claims to perform." He diagnoses a defunct pump, replaces the pump, and leaves.

I wash the bathroom rug.

I wash the towels that had been on the floor.

I wash a load of children's underwear.

The Spouse, stepping into the bathroom to brush his teeth says, "HEY! Why's the bathroom floor all wet?"

And so it is. Soaking wet and running out into the hall onto the wooden parquet floors.

This is late on Friday. He leaves a message for Man Friday. On Sunday, Man Friday calls The Spouse to inform him that WRD will come Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of this week.

Meanwhile, a cat poos on the newly cleaned bathroom rug. I clean it best I can with a combination of paper towels and the detachable shower head. I put the damp rug on our balcony to await the return of my functioning washer.

Monday comes and goes. No WRD.

Every time I walk into my bathroom, I am struck by the lack of a rug. Showers now involve setting a small, not-so-liked towel on the floor so whomever is in the shower does not have to step out onto a cold tile floor peppered with scoopable cat litter. In desperation, I even price bathroom rugs at a home store at my closest mall. At Evrodom, I can have an ordinary polyester bathroom floor rug starting at about 3,000 rubles (33 rubles = $1US these days). Yup. Something that would cost me $15 at Target, and be a designer piece to boot, will cost me nearly $100 here.

I opt to suck it up.

Tuesday comes and goes. No WRD.

Yesterday, Wednesday, around noon, when I still had not seen WRD, The Spouse called Man Friday who told him, via a bad phone connection, "Balaka balaka balalaika by five o'clock."

We interpreted this to mean that WRD would be at our door yesterday by 5:00 p.m.

But, alas, it was not meant to be.

It is now Thursday. Monday is a holiday in Russia (although my kids have school Monday). If WRD does not come today or tomorrow, my children, who have patiently spent the second week of their already underwhelming school vacation at home watching SpongeBob reruns on TV while I stay close to home in case WRD says he's on his way, will return to school in dirty clothes and underwear I will have been forced to wash out in the bathtub.

Moscow does not believe in laundromats.

I have received several kind offers from fellow expats to bring over a load. I have turned them down each time thinking "relief arrives tomorrow." Now I have so much that needs to be washed, I cannot winnow it down to one emergency load. Plus, do you really want me over at your house for the three to four hours needed to wash and dry a load of laundry? In my current mood?

I think not.


hka said...

I really would not mind having you here - come any time with the load - but you do know I haven't had a functioning dryer since early fall now??

valentina said...
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katbat said...

have Spouse drop a load or 3 off on his way to work - seriously - he can pick it up when he goes home - we are so close - it is silly not to!! I will not even fold it - just move from washer to dryer to plastic bag - but it will be clean! believe me - no problem - people helping people - right?!

katbat said...

btw - my washer has the same drain thing - every couple of loads - I was instructed by my spouse - I have to open it and clean the filter thing - about a cup of water spills onto the floor when I open it - what is up whith that?

Susan said...

take some over to Katherines, she will be in the same state of affairs someday too Im sure.
If your washer and dryer are dinkums like hers, it will take a week to catch up:)
We found one(1) laundromat in Athens!!!A city of 6 million people and 1 laundromat!

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