Thursday, November 3, 2011

Appliance angst

Many years ago, over Thai food in San Francisco, I talked to one of my best friends about her unexpected anxiety over buying appliances with her then-boyfriend (now husband). They have a rock-solid relationship and were already living together at the time. What was the big deal about jointly owning a washer? But at a point in our lives when furniture still meant your college roommate's old hand-me-down futon, there was something a bit too, well, heavy about these hefty purchases, something a bit too "adult."

When I moved to Istanbul, I pared down what I'd acquired over the post-college decade (which, for the record, never included any appliances larger than a toaster), returning to a transient state I've kept justifying over nearly four years with the idea that I might not be here that long. Then, last month, I decided to abandon shared-flat living and get my own apartment.

Here in Turkey, unfurnished apartments are just that -- no refrigerator, no oven, nada in the way of what is called beyaz eşya (white goods). I'm considered lucky because my new place came with curtains and some light fixtures -- even some light bulbs. A bit of panic about the weightiness of appliance-shopping once again set in. It seemed so permanent, not to mention confusing. But with the help of a dear and trusted friend, I managed to muster up the courage to go shopping...

...and last night two men appeared at my door with a refrigerator and an oven. After crossing the threshold, they set down their bulky loads and carefully slipped shower-cap-like blue plastic booties over their shoes to protect my newly cleaned floors. They maneuvered the goods into the kitchen, told me how to set the fridge's temperature and clean its interior, showed me how to use the oven with its fancy press-button starter, and noted I needed to replace my gas hose. Then they left with a "Güle güle kullan" -- use it happily.

Does this mean I'm an adult now?

6 comments:

Tactless Wonder said...

You have no idea how ecstatic I was when I found out that my house, that one I bought in Hilo, HI? Came with a fridge, stove, and a washing machine! So, um, I guess technically I'm not an adult if that's one of the markers :).

And I LOVE the fact that they thought about booties. I cringe whenever any of the workmen come in to replace a filter/check the heater and are DRAGGING their spattered shoes over the carpet. I feel like I'm losing a dollar of my deposit with every step...

The Turkish Life said...

Wow, a house for sale with appliances included? That was a deal!

People here take the no shoes in the house thing quite seriously :)

Ayesha said...

Started following you on Twitter just tonight...very timely =) We're still in a partly furnished (esyali) apartment for now....but have started shopping for the major appliances. You've nailed the feeling I've been experiencing...after almost 7 years of marriage and two kids, we're finally adults =D I will admit, I'm excited about choosing my own appliances.

The Turkish Life said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, Ayesha! And that you actually enjoy appliance shopping -- for me it was a chore to get over as quickly as possible ;)

jack lance said...

Nice appliances.

NJ Refrigeration sales said...

In US, we can`t imagine to buy house with appliances. Its really a sweet gratitude:)

Stockard Channing.