Friday, October 14, 2011

Kitchen Concerns

We are finally feeling comfortable in our new place. We have all the furniture we need, we have the bathrooms outfitted with linens and cleaning supplies, and we have TV and internet. But the best news of all is- the refrigerator is no longer in the living room!

We got our refrigerator free from a family in the homeschool group. They were replacing their old fridge, and donated it to us at the end of last year. Then it sat on the front porch of another friend all summer until we moved in to the villa. We hired a truck and a driver to move the appliances, and it was all very easy, until we started to bring the refrigerator into the kitchen. Then we found out that because the kitchen door doesn't open all the way, the fridge wouldn't go through. No problem, right? Just take the door off the hinges. Except that a couple of the screws were stripped and refused to budge. So the refrigerator got plugged into the living room/dining room outlet, which is not all that inconvenient if you want more juice during the middle of dinner.

It took a little while, but Mark eventually hammered the screws out of the door, and now the refrigerator sits proudly in the kitchen. Next came the saga of the stove.

We bought a gas stove ("cooker" as it's called here). We had no problem getting it into the kitchen: the door is still sitting on the floor, off its hinges. Gas here is not piped into the villas. Instead, the truck with propane canisters rolls through the neighborhood almost daily, with one of the workers banging a wrench against the truck, alerting the residents that they can run out and exchange their empty gas canisters for full ones. So Mark bought a length of hose to run from the back of the stove, through the hole we found drilled in the metal door frame of the kitchen's sliding glass door, and out to the porch, where it connects to a regulator and the gas canister. We cooked for the first time on the new stove this week.

Our last task will be to get the washer and dryer hooked up. They won't go in the kitchen, but out on the porch. The surge protector/extension cord, however, is plugged in to the outlet in the kitchen, then through the other hole in the door frame, then out to the appliances. I guess we'll need to warp the surge protector in plastic in the unlikely event that it rains. Mark had to cut the plug off of the extension cord to thread it through the hole, then re-attach it. He had a hard time finding some sort of wire caps that he needed, and finally had to go to a contractor's store. Apparently the do-it-yourself element is lacking here in Abu Dhabi. Not that we just looked one up on the internet and drove over- no, we were buying curtains and noticed that the area had some general contractors' storefronts. After trying three or four, we finally hit on one that was open. Then we lucked out because a customer in the store spoke both English and Arabic and translated Mark's needs. The only thing we still need before we can wash clothes is an adapter for the washer's water hose. It's too big for the spigot. Don't know where we'll find that.

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