It was inevitable. Eventually I had to do some laundry. Given the controls of the washer-dryer, it was not a simple matter to determine what setting to use.
I figured out that the numbers around the dial were temperatures, but aside from that… I stuffed the thing with underwear, put some Tide in what seemed like the right bin, took a guess on the dial, and started pressing buttons to see what changed on the display. I managed to find a setting that started the water going and had a counter showing how much time was left. When it finished, it beeped, and I discovered that the clothes were still soaking wet. I took another guess on a setting that might dry, but when I pressed the start button, water started running in again. I couldn’t find a way to stop it, so it just ran through another cycle.
I did some searching online and found that there is a version of the owner’s manual for this machine that’s partly in English. I downloaded it, but Acrobat didn’t want to display it because I didn’t have the correct language pack installed. But then I looked in my kitchen drawer and found that someone else had already printed out the manual. Not that it’s perfectly clear anymore, considering how badly written it is, but I figured out how to do a dry only cycle. I ran it for an hour and a half and my shorts were still really damp, so I took them out and hung them in the bathroom to finish drying. I threw in a load of other necessaries and set the dry time for 120 minutes. I’ll probably have to hang those things when they’re done as well.
Another domestic adventure is grocery shopping. I’ve been to a couple of stores that are close by my apartment, and as I suspected, milk products are uncommon. There was a carton labeled “fresh milk” in English, but I couldn’t tell if it was whole, skim, or what. But I couldn’t find any coffee or cereal, so don’t really need milk anyway. The only cheeses I could find were processed individually wrapped slices – I think I’ll need to find a “western grocery store” for something better than that. I couldn’t find orange juice at one store, but did at the other. And then there’s eggs. Four or five different kinds of egg are commonly available, in various shades of brown and blue. There were some tiny ones that might be quail. I settled for some brown ones with a picture of a chicken on the package. They come in little clear plastic carriers and are not refrigerated.
Both of the stores also have a selection of kitchen utensils, socks, underwear, and slippers. One of the stores did have some coffee – a variety of different instants, from the look of things – and they were kept in a locked cabinet, even though the prices weren’t any higher than other things in the store. I’ve stared at the hair care shelves trying to determine which bottles are shampoo and which are conditioner, so far without luck.
It occurs to me that I haven’t described the end of my ordeal getting the internet set up here. There wasn’t actually any software to install, just configuring a new network connection, which a man from the building management office did for me. Acting as translator, our real estate agent text messaged me with a user name and password he got from the landlord. I tried that, but got a message that the password was wrong. I notified the real estate agent, and he later called back with a new password. But that didn’t work either. He had another technician stop by, but that didn’t help – the wiring was fine. Eventually the agent called with a different user name – there had been a typo in the user name. Using the new name, I got right in.
So after four days offline, I was able to log on and get my 700 emails, virtually all junk. Ah, such is life on the net.
The desk was finally delivered, and they got the bed out of the guest room, replacing it with the smallest “sofa sleeper” I’ve ever seen. Now my problem is that there isn’t a network plug in that room, so I’m stuck using the computer in the living room. I’ve asked the landlord if it’s possible to get a plug put in there, but haven’t heard back yet.