Elektra Delivers!

I don’t believe it! Elektra’s delivery person brought my washer this afternoon around 4:30! I was in shock! Thank goodness I’d already given the laundry room the scrub I’d promised it it would get once a washing machine would be incoming!

The man was on his own and brought it on one of those little motorcycle things with a flat deck. I was able to let him into the yard through the third garage door, which took him most of the way to the laundry room, and he had no trouble shuffling it the rest of the way, where he unpacked it for me as there is cardboard on the bottom that would have been difficult to remove on my own. He flat out refused a tip for doing that, saying it was included in the service. Can’t say I didn’t try!

It fit perfectly in the space for it. I can’t believe the landlady fit a dryer directly in front of it. No idea how she manoeuvred in such a tight space!

Setting up the washer was easy — just hook up the hose to the water supply (remembering to add washers!), pull out the drain hose and put it down the drain pipe, plug it in, and then scan the instructions.

Of course, I immediately put a load on! It won’t dry overnight, but it will at least give me a head start tomorrow since each cycle is quite long — not as much as with a front loader, but still more than with a traditional top loader. This seems to be a bit of a hybrid model between the two that I think I will like. It doesn’t have much of an agitator and it weighs your clothes to determine how much water to put in the machine.  It is a bit loud (may be helped if I better level it — the built-in level (!) says I’m close, but not quite there), but once I have my headphones on, I don’t hear it.

The capacity is much more generous than I expected. I brought down what I expected to be two loads of clothes and it wasn’t even a half load!

Here’s what the instructions say equals about 16KG:

A regular load of 5 pairs of dress trousers (ie. not jeans), 7 shirts, 8 tee shirts, 2 sweatshirts, and 12 pieces of undies. Sounds about like a typical load for me, with my dresses being equal to a pair of trousers plus a blouse.

Or a load of linens that has 3 sheets, 5 pillow cases, and 3 towels. Again, sounds like a typical load for me. I never have three towels at one time, but I have a bunch of washcloths and my bath mat.

A friend of mine in Canada has a washer that’s similar and I thought, “My goodness, that sounds nice, but way too fancy for my budget!” Funny how things work out!

The Hollywood Life

Some of the most fun work I do is transcribe raw audio used in the movie editing process. I have worked directly with some directors and producers and also indirectly as a subcontractor. It was really exciting the other day to get confirmation that I got my credit for all the work I did on Freedom for the Wolf:

But even more exciting are the movies I get to work on as a subcontractor. These are major movies, often in franchises that I love. I get to transcribe hugely famous actors and see how they behave in candid situations. As if that wasn’t sufficiently rewarding, these jobs pay really, really well.

When I first started with this transcription firm, I had to prove myself. I didn’t often get assigned these jobs. It was only last summer in Bulgaria that I got a chance to do any significant work on one of these projects and since then, I’ve steadily gotten more. Now, I’m at the point where I can request as much of this work as I want and it’s given to me! I must have proven myself!

This past weekend, I worked mega overtime finishing up work on one of these movies and made enough money that I knew I could go hunting for both a fridge and a washer this week. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull off getting both, but I knew it wasn’t an entirely impossible mission as I had a budget of $9,000 (about 600CAD) to work with — yes, my rent amount, coincidentally enough!

Money from my PayPal accounts finally landed last night and so, after completing my most urgent work of the day, I headed off in search of my appliances. I’d done tons of online research and had an idea of what brands and models I could expect to find and their rough list price.

A very nice lady who lives on the other side of my neighbourhood and who has been here for about 30 years told me that I should start my search at the Coppel department stores, not Walmart or grocery stores like Chedraui, and certainly not the favourite expat destinations of Liverpool and Costco. She explained how Coppel makes its money from offering credit so there can be deals to be had for those paying cash. She further narrowed things down by saying that the Coppel at Plaza Dorada generally has a good selection and that there are other stores all around it where I could look if they couldn’t help me.

So off I went to the Plaza Dorada Coppel today. I had a look at their fridges and was disappointed because there was nothing for less than $6,000. Not a problem for the fridge price, but there was no way I could swing an automatic washer as well. A twin tub model like I have at Haven, no problem, but I really want an automatic.

I flagged down a clerk and said I was looking for their cheapest, most basic fridge-freezer. I knew that both Mabe and Daewoo have a 9-cubic-foot one for around $5,000 that looked good on my computer screen and that Coppel carries, so I hoped that maybe they had a warehouse.

Nine cubic feet is quite a bit smaller than I planned on getting but is going to be just fine because I’ve… drumroll please… decided to keep the other fridge! It came to me the other night that I should, especially since I have room for it and I know how it behaves. The hot season is going to come before I know it and I am going to struggle with not enough cold space. I know I can trust the freezer on the used fridge, so there goes my need to buy a deep freezer. The fridge itself can hold all manner of things that won’t be harmed by freezing and that won’t last on the shelves next summer, from cheese to chocolate, nuts to flours.

So back to Coppel today and my fateful meeting with the man I will dub the Appliance Faery (AF for short). AF sized me up and said, “Would you mind one that’s dented?”

“Show me, please,” I asked eagerly. He took me to a different part of the store and pointed to the fridge in question.

It was uuuuugly. Oh my goodness. It wasn’t just dented. It had scratches and there was rust and bubbling around the water dispenser (further reason to ignore it). But I was assured it was new, came with the same (piddly) warranty as any other fridge, and that the defects were all cosmetic.  And at 11 cubic feet, it was the perfect compromise between my huge current one and a disappointingly small basic model.

So here is what a brand new one looks like. It is a Samsung:

The price? $4,249. Full price is almost $9,000. 🙂 Delivery tomorrow between noon and 5PM included!

Buoyed by my luck, I asked about washers. Best they could do was a Whirlpool for about $6,500. That was never going to happen! So I said I’d just take the fridge.

AF left me in the capable hands of a cashier and once the transaction was complete, I went back to look for my fridge to take pictures. AF apologised and said it was already on its way to the loading dock! Which reminds me of the other reason I was told to go to Coppel — their deliveries are efficient!

I thanked AF again and went next door to check out a store called Elektra that appeared to have some appliances. A clerk approached me and I asked if they had any inexpensive basic automatic washing machines.

She took me to a cute a 16KG Mabe that Coppel was selling for $7,000 so I said that it was too expensive. She looked confused and pointed to the price tag. They were on sale this week for $4,599!!! But I was cruelly disappointed when I was told that that price did not include delivery. I stood there for a moment trying to decide if I was going to go through the trouble of arranging a flete (mover) or if I should look for something else when the lady said cautiously, “If you don’t mind paying $100 more, we can arrange the delivery for you tomorrow.” Let me remind you that “$100” is about 6.76 CAD. Done and dusted for $4,699!

It’s quite small, but should be perfect for a household of one as I rarely do big loads when I have my own washer and the ability to wash as I go.

Extraordinarily pleased with having come in under budget, I celebrated by spending part of the $52 left over on some very nice ice cream. 🙂

I should have both appliances sometime tomorrow. Which means I can start catching up on laundry and go grocery shopping Thursday morning!

I am so happy to have been able to get both machines today as they were the missing pieces to fall into a proper homekeeping routine. I should be able to get a stove next month and then the house will really be like heaven. 🙂

The stove has involved some really hard research, but I’m pretty sure I finally found it, although I have to go check it out in person to confirm it has a broiler. The first test of quality for the stove will be that it have cast iron burner grates, which eliminates anything by Mabe. I thought the next brand up in terms of quality and price was Koblenz but I discovered that there is an in-between brand, Acros! I thought Acros and Mabe were equivalent, but Acros is definitely a bit higher end and they have several ranges with cast iron grates and ovens that seem decent. Their top-end model is several thousand pesos cheaper than the cheapest Koblenz. So once I verify in person what online research tells me, I should be able to get myself a stove around this time next month. Woot, woot. 🙂

The final thing will be a mattress, but, again, there’s absolutely no rush on that, which is lovely indeed.

I definitely shouldn’t drop any more significant amounts of money this month, but boy is good to be over the hump and on my way to a comfortable life here. I am feeling very, very grateful.

I got in and not even a minute after I’d come into the house, my doorbell rang. It was one of my Amazon packages. Talk about timing! I’m incredibly amused by how both US and Mexico Amazon decided to send out each piece of my orders separately so I’m expecting a present to myself most days this month. Rather like an Advent calendar, I suppose. 🙂

Which reminds me, if you’re going to do any shopping at Amazon.com this month, could you please do so through my affiliate link? It won’t cost you anything extra and will greatly help the family to which I donate the gift certificates. I’d love for them to have something to be grateful for as well in this quite challenging time of the year. Thank you!