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16/03/07 - English Man, Chinese Washing Machine

Today I had my first encounter with my washing machine. Underwear supplies are beginning to run low and there seemed no point in delaying the inevitable any longer.

The machine lives in my hall/porch area. The dusty, old upright sits on a trolley because there is no water supply in the hall and has to be wheeled into the kitchen when in use. I decided I better give it a test run before I trusted it with any of my precious socks and boxer shorts.

The journey to the kitchen was far from smooth but we arrived safely and I plugged the machine into the mains. There is a hose attached to a tap on the wall, which seemed to connect to the top of the machine. Unsurprisingly, all the instructions on the top of the machine are in Chinese so I didn’t even attempt to read them.

I pressed a large button that looked suspiciously like an on-off switch and, hey presto, it came to life and a number of lights came on. I tried pressing various other buttons, which seemed to turn different lights on and off, and eventually I hit one that started a cycle. I opened the lid and the large cylinder seemed to be filling up with water. Easy, I thought. I felt the water and it was ice cold, which wasn’t ideal. However, the only place you can get hot water in my apartment is in my shower so this was no surprise to me.

I went and sat on my bed to learn some Chinese. After about 15 minutes, the noise coming from the machine seemed to change so I went back into the kitchen. To my horror, I found that water was spurting out of the side of the machine all over the kitchen floor. I frantically searched the apartment for another hose to connect to this hole but it was too late. Soon the kitchen was swimming in 3 cm of ice-cold water. Not good.

To make matters worse, the machine then started filling up with water again and I realised that it was only a matter of time before the process would repeat itself. Luckily I managed to find a hose and then discovered a hole in the floor that I assumed was a drain.

Sadly, I was wrong and round two of mission, “fill the whole apartment with water” commenced.

I had found the actual drain by the time the machine decided to throw out its last load of water, which I assumed was the rinse cycle. Then, all that remained was for me to begin mopping up the gallons of water all over the apartment and question whether this prehistoric machine will even slightly clean my clothes.

The End.

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