At this point, it doesn’t take much to make a day feel successful. The day we figured out our appliances, you would think we had just solved a complex scientific question. The relief we felt at being able to conduct some of the basic business of living in a home, was astounding. Who would have thought that appliances could seem so foreign, but when they are in Dutch and there is no manual or said manual is also in Dutch, it can seem like you will never get it figured out.
I know some of you have seen people looking at appliances on International House Hunters and wondered about it, so let me start with the fridge: nothing to figure out with the fridge except how to actually store anything in it. I think the fridge I had in my dorm in college was bigger than this thing. Next, there is the microwave: this is a microwave/oven combo. Not really sure why as we also have an oven but nonetheless, it has a multitude of buttons and a dial…hmmm. The oven is the same and none of those buttons is labeled with words, just pictures. Turns out you have to select the heat level on the microwave with a button and then turn the dial to set the cook time. For the oven, you have to select the type of heating by turning the dial to a picture and then the temperature is selected with another dial (and of course it is Celsius not Fahrenheit). And finally, there is the washer and dryer. They have lots of words but none of them make much sense. Both drums are very small, and, come to find out, the dryer dries the clothes by sucking the water out into a condensation filter that needs to be emptied of water after each cycle….that’s new! So, while none of it is very familiar, we have now used both the microwave and oven and clothes have been successfully washed and dried. We have conquered the machines and we feel good-at this point, it doesn’t take much!