Days in Chania. 2009 is still coming in like a lion! The sun shone in a welcome blue sky just long enough to dry two loads of clean towels hanging on the line off the edge of the kitchen balcony. Thank goodness! Just before the holiday season marched itself into my life our washing machine stopped working. The drum stopped turning around, the water stopped draining out of the drum although the water flowed into the tub making everything wet.
I can't even tell you how many loads I took out of the washing machine before I realized something was wrong. I had heard the water flow into the washing machine so I thought the clothes had been washed. I simply thought all the water wasn't draining out. I hadn't stayed in the storage room long enough to realize the drum wasn't turning. I don't know why the fact that the clothes were still dirty didn't give me a clue!!
Finally I had to admit to myself, someone was going to have to try to make the water drain. In our house 'the someone that has to do it' is another way of saying, "Oh, just leave 'til mom takes care of it."
I took out the instruction book, gathered my tools and crouched on the floor in front of the washing machine to start cleaning out the filters. After moving on to the second filter, Success! There were two metal straight pins which I happily removed. It took some time to close everything up properly. I was in hurrying because I wanted to finish washing the clothes!
Unfortunately, when I tried a test run is when I noticed the drum problem. There was no way around it. I needed a service to arrange for a service call.
I thought it best to schedule the service call in person. I knew I would need to use my hands along with my Greek to communicate accurately the problem. Finally, I made it to the service store and made an appointment.
I enjoy that little store crammed full of gaskets, wires, refrigerator racks and drawers, plus all the knobs and washers a fix-it person could desire.
I practiced Greek and other languages by reading the packages on all the different glues, filters and cleaning products securely fitted together on the shelves and racks. I couldn't resist a tube of glue for "General Use on leather, wood, rubber,ceramics, plastics, etc." Dreams of fixing all the broken items I've been saving for one big fix-it weekend danced through my head. I also picked up what I thought was a glue especially for porcelain made in the U.S.A. I felt I had balanced out my patriotism just fine with those two buys.
Ironically the fluid packaged with writing in both Greek and English wasn't glue at all, but a fill-in for porcelain and appliances. Not to worry! I can use that, too!
In the last few seconds before paying I tossed in two new types of low-energy-use fluorescent bulbs I had never seen before.
All and all a very satisfying shopping experience. (This little essay is a clue as to why I dress the way I do. Clothing shopping can't compete with this kind of relaxation!)
At the hour of the service call a helmeted motorcyclist parked in front of the house. I thought, "This must be someone that needs directions in the neighborhood." But, no, it was a young man rushing in through the gate to do the repair.
I practiced my Greek and he practiced his English. We consulted my Greek/English visual dictionary and the picture of the severed washing machine. We both learned some new words! He congratulated me on finding the two straight pins because it turns out I had fixed half the problem! He replaced two small parts on either side of the drum. He called them 'karvounaki' and said at the rate I wash clothes I would need to have them replaced again before the machine wore it out.
Also he fixed the knobs on our stove and tossed out the electrical wires which had caused the annoying clock/alarm on the stove to have a life of its own.
It only cost 60 Euros! I offered him more but he declined. That's a bad habit of mine, offering more money, but so do a lot of Americans who are expecting a costly bill. My Greek shop-owning friends tell me about young sailors from the base offering more money. My friends always decline while the chuckle at 'those rich Americans.' I know it's not that we are rich. We react that way because we're generous and because we expected a much higher price! But there's no point in trying to explain. I guess it's a characteristic that endears us to the Greeks. That's a good thing!