I have nothing really new to post about today, so I will dig up one of the defining stories of my life with blackwifeo. We (the four of us in the immediate blackfamilyo) arrived back in the Holy Land in June 2000 (we got bored in Silicon Valley and wanted front row seat in the second Intifada). As we set up home in Raanana, we bought the various appliances we needed. We bought good quality stuff, an Italian dishwasher (junk), a US fridge (too small and not self organizing), a King oven (unable to find any reference to this brand anywhere on the internet) and a Bosch washing machine and dryer (don't mention the war). Its the washer and dryer that are the heroes of this post.
Jonathan (as this conjoined pair were called), was unloved from the start. Blackwifeo really wanted huge 'Merican models that could fit everything washable in the house in a single load. Of course, these beasts cost an arm, a leg and a liver. Now, Jonathan would take about an hour to do a wash, then another hour to dry this (in blackwifeo's view, infinitesimally small) load. The (then) Canadian neighbors had these giant machines and their huge loads took mere seconds, as was patiently explained to me on numerous occasions.
Then one day it happened. Her daily perusal of the trusty raananalist paid off, and blackwifeo found a family fleeing Israel who wanted to get rid of their Whirlpool washer and dryer. She was beside herself. I did what any self-respecting husband would, I declared: "Buy them if you want, but I will have nothing to do with it". So she bought them and waited patiently for their arrival. She claims she got one heck of a deal, but she cannot remember just how much she paid (this memory thing is fuel for many, many blogs). Blackwifeo, generous to a fault, refused to sell our current Jonathan and gave them over to her brother and his family, where he performs beautifully to this day.
The big day arrived and the new Jonathan (all washers and dryers are called Jonathan in our house) was to be delivered. The raananalist provided Gershon, the man with the truck. He dutifully collected Jonathan from his old home and delivered them to HaNevel 3. There the first problem arose. The door to the washing room was not large enough for the new machines to fit through, even after the Gershons dismantled the doors and feet. So off the Gershons went to hire a conveyor (there are varying accounts of how many Gershons were involved, I of course had washed my hands of the whole business). A conveyor is a crane-like device that extends and allows heavy items to be lifted into upper floors using a wide black belt. Of course, conveyors do not come cheaply. After much shouting and pushing and shoving, the new Jonathan finally passed through the washroom window and were arranged in their new home.
They sat unconnected in their new home for a few weeks, acclimatizing. Finally, blackwifeo tired of climbing over the mounds of dirty clothing and called in a plumber to hook Jonathan up. The local dry cleaners were most put out, as we had almost paid for their jacuzzi and were now planning a swimming pool. At this point the second issue arose - washers and dryers in Israel typically connect only to cold water. Hot water heaters are usually pretty small (and solar heated), therefore the washers themselves take care of heating their water if necessary (which is why a load takes so long). The marvelous Whirlpool need a hot water connection and there was no hot water piped into the washing room. "Never fear", said the plumber, "I can easily bring a pipe in". Of course, pipes do not come cheaply. After much shouting and pushing and hammering, half of the new Jonathan was hooked up. We could finally do washing. But, wait.
On further inspection, it became sadly evident that the dryer part of Jonathan was gas operated. This is nearly unheard of locally and, of course, there is no gas connection in the washing room, not even close by. So the gas company was called in. "Never fear", said the gas technician, "I can easily bring a gas pipe in". Sadly, gas pipes do not come cheaply. After much shouting and banging and hammering, the other half of Jonathan was hooked up. We now, about six months later, had a fully functional washer and dryer.
Its true. The new Jonathan does its work quickly and efficiently. But, washing is not something blackfamilyo is particularly good at and the local dry cleaners need not have worried. They still get a few loads a month and are currently pondering what color Hummer to buy. Seeing as we are paying for most of it I think it should be black.
Clouds over Port Elizabeth
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