Mon 25 Jul 2005
They are cutting wheat all over Provence and most end up in these round rolls of hay-the livestock just can’t get a square meal anymore!
A House in Provence
I wish I had had a little more input into choosing our appliances. I have to admit I wasn’t paying attention when Maurice was looking at cataloges choosing things for our house. Everything he picked out requires a PhD to operate. Maurice has an enginering degree but when it comes to operating ,say, our oven, it doesn’t seem to help much. If I had an instruction manual in English I think I could figure it all out but, alas, I don’t. The oven has three little round switches that you turn, or push, or do both at the same time. To turn off the oven you push one of these buttons twice. Twirling the same knob brings up various pictures on the front like pizza or roast and the oven is supposed to cook it at the correct temperature but we couldn’t get it to work. It only gives you fifteen seconds to set everything or it turns off and you have to start all over again. It does have a neat feature of beeping when the oven had preheated to the correct temperature. I’m sure I will eventually figure it out but I think I will be using my microwave a lot in the meantime. It is an older model and, even though all of the writing on it is in French, I have mastered using it.
The refrigerator is huge, especially by French standards. Maurice thought I needed an American refrigerator. It sticks out about a foot past the wall sturdily announcing its presence. It makes ice cubes or crushed ice, it dispenses cold water, temperatures can be changed at various areas inside and there is a strange door on the outside which can be opened to retrieve, I believe, often sought items, such as milk or bottled water. All sorts of buttons glow on the outside, giving the kitchen a green glow in the dark.
Then there is the washing machine and dryer. It didn’t take me long to figure out the washer but the dryer was another matter. It doesn’t have a vent tube going to the outside as I am used to, but it does some sort of condensation number. I managed to dry the first load all right, although it took me three times to finally get everything dry. The second load led to an irritating bell ringing. This was when I discovered that a water container has to be emptied or the dryer won’t work. The filter has to be empty, too. Maurice and I struggled for over 30 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong. It was like a baby that keeps crying after it has been fed and changed-what else can you do? I got so irritated I told Maurice that I was moving back to the States where appliances are easy to operate. I think we finally got it figured out but I think I will be doing most of our drying on a clothes rack. It is easier and much cheaper. I’m not a fan of scratchy towels but maybe I can soften them up with a Cling Free sheet-a wonderful American invention-after they dry on a rack to the texture of plaster board. (We finally got a repair man out to look at the dryer where a short of some sort was discovered. He told us he fixed it but, naturally, he didn’t and finally had to come pick it up and totally replace a malfunctioning part.)