Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Jordan Challenge: 1 -- Learn to Use my Washing Machine

So, I had an exciting thought a few nights ago.  Given that I am in Jordan for ten months with opportunities and challenges swirling at me like crazy, I thought it was time to resurrect my 2010 obsession and create a new list.  Here's my thought: A Fulbright Year of 50 Challenges.  As with the original list of 52 New Things, it will be drawn from all kinds of categories.  Some won't be particularly tough, but more along the lines of things I definitely want to take the opportunity to do while I'm here.  Others will be simple but important things about conquering everyday life here, as is the case on this one.  And, as in the original list of 52 New Things, a few will be really pretty hard.  I'll be posting the list in my next blog post after this one.  But in the meantime I thought I'd share the first Jordan Challenge. It is short, but oh-so-critical: learning to use my washing machine.

First of all, I'd like to point out in my own defense that this is not as simple as it sounds.  When I moved in my landlord went to great pains to show me the two full pages of instructions he had posted on the wall above the washer after repeated expats had unwittingly assaulted the machine in a whole variety of ways, all of them resulting in disastrous breakages.  And, to put some teeth into his warning he let me know in no uncertain terms that his patience was at an end: break it and it would be my problem, not his.

Page one of my two sheets of posted instructions.  Perfectly clear.  Any questions?
 So, it was with some trepidation that I bought my new front-loader detergent, put in my clothes (not less than 3 kilograms but not more than 6), selected what seemed to be a few dozen settings and pushed the final start button with a small prayer for my washer's safety.

The object of my trepidation, and my first knowing encounter with the finer points of Turkish appliance design.
 I am happy to report that both the washer and the clothing survived my efforts (though I do now know that perhaps the fabric softener to which I've had a lifelong aversion might have a place in my life after all).  No one uses a dryer here, and given how dry the air is, the clothes that I hung on my shower line were ready to go in no time. I feel the washer and I now have a good relationship, or at least an understanding. Onward and upward to further (hopefully more exciting) challenges!

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