Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dutch appliance lessons

To set the stage here, I don't speak Dutch. I can say "Hello" (hallo) and "Thank You" (dank u) but usually I just look sheepish if someone speaks to me first in Dutch. I typically reply "Sorry - I don't speak Dutch yet," and then English is spoken immediately. There's no "I don't speak Dutch yet" button to press on the appliances here, so when I moved in and the landlord said that the prior tenants had mistakenly taken the instruction manuals, I knew I was in for a mini adventure. Mini adventures are a daily occurance when you're living in a foreign country though, so you have to expect little snags and just try your best.

The Dryer - Dryers in Amsterdam aren't always hooked up to a drain, so instead there's a reservoir of water that you have to empty after each load. I've posted pictures of the controls. You tell me if you can figure them out :-)

The Oven/Microwave Combo - With space at a premium, the Dutch are masters at efficiency. In our apartment here we have one appliance that functions as a microwave AND an oven. It's big as far as microwaves go, but it's MUCH smaller than a traditional oven in the US. I've been known to bake a lot, and I enjoy roasting a turkey, but this year things will have to get scaled back a bit.

The Refrigerator - Also much smaller than a typical American unit, the fridge/freezer is very compact. There aren't any special controls here, but I have to remember that the freezer is on the BOTTOM - and I won't be able to let various random sauces and dressings accumulate here. There just isn't enough room.

No comments: