Sunday, October 10, 2010

Curtain Debacles and Washing Machine Rodeos...All in a Days Work!!!

Well the curtains came on Friday.

I didn't post anything, so your conclusions are right, the draperies left something to be desired.  Actually they left many things to be desired.  Like straight seams, accurate measurements, precision of any kind...


Also I was trying to tame my washing machine on Friday, which in addition to washing and drying clothes can apparently be used as a mechanical bull.

You can see how the day got a little busy.

Let's begin with the curtains.  So one out of the four sets of curtains were right.  Only one.  Luckily the correct one was the curtain for our bedroom window, so we could at least have some privacy in there.  The living room curtain was about a foot and a half too short.  Also, the fabric had a stamp on the edge, which might I add is on the part of the fabric that is not supposed to be used.  The tailor decided to use that part of the fabric anyway, so in the middle of the curtain it said something like "Yanakio Company" followed by something in Chinese.  Just what I was hoping to add to my living room industrial Chinese look.  The dining room curtains were way too long, like laying on the floor long, and about one panel too narrow.  The tabs on the curtains for the guest room were situated on the horizontal portion of the curtain instead of the vertical portion.

You might think I'm joking about all this, but unfortunately I'm not.  The curtains really did turn out that bad.

Before the curtains arrived though, I was busy wrangling the washing machine.  We have this very snazzy looking new machine that both washes and dries clothes-I never knew such a thing existed until I moved to Indonesia.  It was hooked up on Thursday afternoon and I decided to try it on Friday.  After diligently reading the users guide I fired it up and went about completing other tasks around the house.  As I am working to unpack bags in the guest room I hear a loud, rhythmic banging coming from the area where the washer is.  Upon investigation I find the washer on the spin cycle, not just spinning internally, but vibrating and attempting to spin itself in a circle.  In fact, it had spun so far that it had pulled the water hook-up part way out of the wall and water was spraying everywhere.  So here I am at home by myself hanging on to the washer, trying to secure it as my entire body vibrates and jerks along with the movements of the washer and trying to reach to turn off the water valve at the same time.  At this point I am thinking "What am I doing here?  All I wanted was to do a couple loads of laundry.  My life has become fodder for a sitcom or Saturday Night Live skit."  Suddenly the spin cycle stopped, thank goodness.  I pushed it back into place, reattached the water hook-up and let it continue to run, thinking that the spinning was over.  15 minutes later, same situation again except this time the washer spun itself so it was blocking the door to get into the garage area where it is kept.  I am now trying to hold onto the washer with one hand with half of my body hanging out of the door that is blocked.  Choice words were coming out of my mouth at this point that I won't repeat here.  It wasn't quite a shining missionary moment.  I was finally able to move the washer enough to get outside the door and then I unplugged the beast.  I was now crying, shaking and soaked with sweat.

At this moment I hear a male voice saying "Permisi" from the front porch.  Permisi basically means "hello, I'm here, can I come in?"

I'm thinking "Are you KIDDING me?!  Someone is here now?!?"

I try to gather myself and walk to the front door.  Two Indonesian guys from the electric company have shown up, and I have no idea why they are there.  I can't find out either because of course I can't understand or speak to them.  I basically tell them in English that I can't speak Indonesian, they just stared at me, and no wonder since I am a complete MESS.  Then I called Chris, doing a classic Sarah move that he never appreciates, panicking and talking in lightening-speed run-on sentences only partially coherently, mostly just saying that he needs to leave work and get home right now because things are going to pot up here at the house.  I then proceed to hand my sweaty phone to one of the Indonesian guys, who refuses it and points to the other guy.  The other guy takes the phone, looking wary and like he doesn't want to touch it, and who would, it is all wet with tears and sweat and smeared with face powder.  Chris talks to him about what they are there for, which was to install prepaid electric, a new system they are making everyone switch over to.  Chris then leaves work and comes home.  After inspecting the washer he realizes that there were bolts holding the wash basket in place that were supposed to be removed before we used it.  He removed them and now the washer is working great.

It really would have been nice if the whole bolt removal had been figured out before I participated in the one-women washer rodeo, but what can you do?  I just wish that I had a video tape of it now, because it must have been a truly hilarious sight.

After all this happened, the curtains came, and you already heard about that saga.

So Friday wasn't the best day ever, although it was pretty funny.  In retrospect.

We went back to the tailor on Saturday and had him fix the errors.  The curtains came back today and two out of the three of them were corrected.  The one that is still wrong was actually my miscommunication, much to my chagrin.  So back to the tailor we go again tomorrow.  Unbelievable.

Here are some pictures of the curtains that turned out right:

Our Bedroom Curtain

Our bed (complete with animal friends)

The "lemari" or stand-alone closet in our bedroom

Our living room
I didn't include the guest room because the curtains aren't up yet and it is still full of our junk, half-empty suitcases and such.  Here is Chris's pride and joy, the TV room or as he affectionately calls it, his man cave

From the doorway
The TV is on a table in front of the couches.  We just watched a movie in there last night and it is a nice oasis.  I see many guys movie nights and video game extravaganzas in our future.  

Only one more tidbit to share before I head to bed.  We ate at good ol' Kentucky Fried Chicken on Friday before the madness of the washer and the curtains began, and I had to take a picture of this

Who needs Colonel Sanders when you can have Colonel Yakiniku's original recipe fried chicken?  And this whole time you thought The Colonel was an American southerner-how wrong you are my friends!  The best part about this is that there is a video that plays in KFC starring the Asian Colonel.  Same haircut, same stylin' facial hair, just Asian.  It's fantastic.

Lastly I have to give props to my MAF teammates.  What has truly gotten me through the highs and lows of my time so far in Tarakan, besides the grace and protection of the Lord, has been the support and care of the excellent people that Chris flies with and their families.  Particularly the women have been so helpful and encouraging and generous.  Their willingness to share their time, their experience and even their food has been such a blessing.  I am humbled by their kindness and can only hope to be even half the help to them that they have been to me.  God has surrounded me with such wonderful support, in my MAF teammates, my friends and family back home, and of course in my loving and ever-patient husband Chris.  I am so thankful!

Those were the highlights (lowlights?) of the last few days.  As usual I am ever grateful that you are accompanying me on this journey!  Your comments and support are awesome!  I go grocery shopping tomorrow and I will try to take some pictures of the market Tarakan-style.


  1. I know a few kids who'd like to try the washing machine mechanical bull...and probably a few teens and adults, too. Yes, I laughed. That would have made it on America's Funniest Home Videos...not to mention a YouTube sensation. Life sure is funny...and usually not until after the specific events are over. Now I'm wondering what adventures you'll have while grocery shopping.

  2. I know I should not laugh, but what a story. Glad that experience is over for you:-)
    Your house looks so nice, and the curtians took liek they turned out pretty well, despite the long ordeal!