Sunday, 10 March 2013

New (Καινούργιο)

The guarantees must have run out at the same time. The washing machine had shown signs of this much earlier than all the other appliances. The drum wasn't turning when the machine loaded (not even lightly). To ensure the clothes got washed (which they never really did, anyway - towels were a lost cause), I had to turn the power button on and off in quick succession, in order for the drum to slump quickly back to inertia at the off position, so as to get a kick-start when I pushed the button back to on.

But it wasn't until the microwave did a sound and light show last Thursday when we decided to do something about replacing the washing machine. I never cook anything in the microwave (that's a lie - I boil rice and do popcorn), and even though I know I can live without it, my husband knows he can't.

So off we went to the one place I buy any household appliance I've bought and chose the most energy-efficient washing machine we found. The price tag: €680. Then we chose a microwave oven (€75), and an iron (€57), and an ironing board (€40). The total cost: €700, in 12 monthly credit-card instalments. The crisis, coupled with long-term custom and a debt-free record, yielded a good discount.

And if you happen to notice that I haven't featured barbecued food for a long time, yes, you guessed it, our coal barbecue had a few holes in its bottom. But we don't need to buy a new one, because it's a Greek tradition to turn an old washing machine drum into a barbecue.

Just when we were wondering what to do with all the scrap metal, along comes the Roma scrap collector, who was only too glad to get his hands on it.

"Could you treat me to a cigarette?" he asked me.

"Sorry," I apologised, although I don't know why I felt I had to, "None of us smoke."

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