Friday, March 11, 2011

New skills

I knew that spending 5 months living in a different country would mean I'd learn many new things: new language, new culture, new foods, new places. And I've experienced all of that for sure. But I've also picked up some unexpected skills.
Deciphering mysterious notices from my building's entryway. This one informed us that the gas meter reader would be here yesterday.
Hanging laundry. Like most Europeans, we have a washing machine but no dryer. But we have an indoor drying rack and these outdoor clothes lines. I've been using the inddor one because it's been cold, but today I washed some sheets and finally braved the outdoor lines. Why braved? Because if that laundry falls, it's going to end up 4 stories down in a sort of cement pit. I imagine all my neighbors are now busily critiquing my poor laundry hanging skills.
Lighting the pilot light on this ceramic heater.

And lighting the pilot on our water heater (which requires standing on a chair).

Cooking in Celsius.

Figuring out arcane laundry symbols.

Working the locks on my front door (takes at least 2 keys to get in--not counting the key to get into the building).

(The world's most impressive deadbolt.)

Having a bidet. Actually, that's a lie. We've been ignoring the bidet.

Buying local wine from a cooperative.

And buying what's reportedly some very delicious cheese.

Sitting in cafes and people-watching, however, have been very easy things to learn!


  1. Oh I do love your skills and all your experiences. See you!!!!!!

  2. You probably have many of these skills already!

  3. Well, that would be easy when you live with such things your whole life. I guess, if I have to life in your land I would have to make the same experiences you have to make now in Europe.

  4. Every place has new things. That's part of the adventure!

  5. I, for one, am thoroughly enamored of your laundry hanging skills and also of your photograph of said laundry. Bravo!

  6. Thank you for admiring my laundry. Haven't lost a sheet yet!

  7. I loved this post -- with all the bits and pieces of your life there. And some fun photography!

    I had to chuckle at your assessment: I imagine all my neighbors are now busily critiquing my poor laundry hanging skills. Personally, I agree with gerstenfarm girl.

    BTW, I once knew someone who found a slightly questionable use for their otherwise neglected bidet: filling it with ice and beverage cans for their parties. I'd guess that would be culturally frowned upon in an area of the world that may actually use their bidets. : )