I never knew I took you for granted.
I always expected you to be there.
You never failed me, and I was never grateful.
In fact, quite the opposite.
I would complain about having to attend to you.
I would forget your accomplishments,
Only to have them sour and require you to do that work all over again.
I never knew I took you for granted,
Until I didn’t have you at all.
So You Can Guess What This is About, Right?
Yep, it’s about my washing machine. For 5 months I have been without the handy machine that takes smelly, sweaty, stained clothes and magically changes them to clean, aromatic, spotless beauties. Well, mostly that is. I did have a washing machine this whole time but it was broken. When I first arrived my sorta-kinda landlord informed me of this and I was told he would fix it or I could use the neighbors washing machine. The former never happened and I wasn’t comfortable showing up to my neighbors house with all my dirty clothes – I’ve learned that’s a line in the sand for me. So for the summer months I did all my laundry by hand. And then as autumn began to cool the temperatures I began to realize how much time and energy I was spending on doing my washing. It would take me 3 podcasts or about 4 hours to do a marathon load of laundry (about a week and a half’s worth). That’s a HUGE chunk of my time, not to mention my hands would feel like sand paper the next day. I would use dish gloves each time but water and detergent would somehow find their way inside. Not to mention my bathroom would resemble a bubbly swamp by the time I was finished and I would be spent for the day.
So after months of complaining I realized I had to get this sorted. I asked a few people, had a guy come look at it, and after 2 visits and 5 hours of waiting on the repairman to find the part that was needed I had a washing machine that worked*!!!! It turns out the only thing wrong with my machine was the rubber lining between the front-loading door and the washer itself. It had two massive holes on either side of it that caused water to pour out of the machine any time the water filled the chamber.
What is a Washing Machine Really?
During this repair I learned a few things about washing machines in general. Back home I had always regarded washing machines to be extremely complex mechanical devices, but after watching the repair of one I realized these guys are basic as they come. Maybe in the states they’re a bit more complex, what with their load sensors and special settings, but at the end of the day they’re still a big bowl that swirls and sloshes clothes around until it drains and spins the water out of the clothes. The hoses that are attached to a washing machine are simply an input and and output system. It’s a incredibly simple design that yields magical, time-freeing results.
Funs Tricks I learned for Albanian Living
So many of us here in Albania have water schedules. This can be a real B-other. But, fret not my dear friends! For I have been shown the way. When you desire to wash your clothes but the water is off, all you need to do is have a mop bucket and a half worth of water lying around (this is Albania, you will have a few spare buckets hanging around), turn your washing machine on and to the desired setting. Put in your clothes, then pull out the sliding drawer where you put your detergent (do put your detergent in) and begin to pour in your water. Once you have filled your washing machine up with the correct amount of water it will begin to wash your clothes and generally make that mechanical groan that signals the beginning of a washing sequence.
I was horrified to see the repair guy do this to test my washing machine but it actually works and I haven’t been able to come up with any reasons not to use this method. My machine is a super old Italian model, and many other PCV’s have similar machines so do what you will with this information. I know it’s saved me tons of time. And who knows maybe I’ll start pairing my showers with my laundry days and save some water!
*my washing machine leaks a little at the beginning of every load but I’m not concerned enough to call the repair man back for fear that in his attempts to fix it he may make it leak worse. Pretty certain the metal wire that secures the rubber sleeve is a little loose but that’s livable.