laundry fail.

Who knew it would be THIS hard to do laundry in the Netherlands?

The past 24 hours have been an exercise in futility when it comes to doing laundry in my apartment. My washing machine is located in my bathroom (more precisely, in my shower), and I thought the main challenge would be figuring out how to connect it. That turned out not to be terribly complicated – per my landlord’s instructions, I connected the machine’s hose to the sink faucet and then plugged the power cord into the (hidden) outlet in the bathroom. So far, so good. I felt quite proud of myself.

I loaded the machine with clothes and liquid detergent, shut the lid, and pushed the power button. All looked good: the lights went on, and I heard some sort of sound. It was not, however, the sound of water filling the machine. I confirmed this by turning the tap and discovering that quite a large amount of water escaped from a gap between the screw and the hose. Still, I thought: okay, maybe I’m supposed to turn on the water myself. I let it run for a while and continued to hear noises that sounded like SOMETHING was happening.

Still not satisfied that the machine was working, I did some googling and managed to track down the owner’s manual for this particular machine. Although it helped me to understand the meaning of the various dials and buttons, it shed no light on the problem. (It listed “machine doesn’t fill with water” as a problem but offered no suggestions on how to fix it – great.)

I decided to give up and just hope that things would work out. (European washing machines can take two hours to run, so I figured by the time I woke up, maybe it’d be done.) When I woke up this morning, everything was exactly the same: all the lights, all the noises, etc. I turned it off, still worried that maybe it would be locked until it finished the cycle, and was relieved when about 30 seconds later I heard it unlock.

Well, friends, absolutely NOTHING had happened. My clothes weren’t wet at all except for little spots of detergent. After nearly 12 hours, I had dirty clothes that now smelled a bit fresher thanks to the detergent’s floral scent.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with my landlord (who does not live in the Hague), and he as of yet does not seem to understand why I have a problem. I have never considered myself to be exceptionally mechanical or skilled in this type of area, but I do feel capable of getting this to work – which is why I am so frustrated right now! I have tried EVERYTHING and still there is water squirting everywhere.



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