When I moved to this apartment I’m in now I had to buy a fridge and stove. It’s actually standard here. I put my fate into the hands and connections of my friend who helped me find the place. He set me up with his friend who hooked me up with a used fridge and stove. If it’s sounding like a drug deal, it felt that way. We drove across the city, ‘buddy’ jumped in the back seat, took the cash, brought out the fridge. Then, we followed him for another twenty minutes for the stove. Yes. Both appliance came out of someone’s house.
The fridge died after about three weeks and it cost me $165 to replace the motor. Luckily one of my neighbours in my building does the sort of thing. My friend had initially told me both appliances had a year warranty but of course when the problems started, ‘he isn’t answering his phone’. Okay, but if he doesn’t want to pay for it, just say that. Don’t say you can’t get ahold of him, then post pictures of you and him all hammered up on rum all over your Facebook page. Not cool. No longer my friend.
So, that was the fridge. The stove, besides coming with its own family of cockroaches, had been painted. Painted. I assume to look new but I wasn’t buying it to look like anything other than a stove. House paint, the door, the metal covering for the burners, the entire inside. I know. I have managed to burn off the paint on the top, what’s a bit of toxic fumes amoungst friends. But the inside is unusable.
Plus, everything is gas here and frankly, it scares me. The stove top I’ve mastered (almost) but the oven pilot light thing remains a nightmare. My last apartment had a beautiful stove but I was so afraid to light it. I would turn on the gas, light the pilot light and then just run. It would never just catch. Rather, it would continue to fill with gas while the pilot burned and then a massive gas bomb. All the while, I’ve shooed the cats in to another room while I watch with one eye from safety around the corner. Not really worth a few roasted potatoes.
I had decided to get a toaster over, my friend and I were Skyping the other day and she had said she was considering the same thing. I started the pricing check. There is a fabulous store not too far from here called ‘Mister Zapatos Departamentos’. It’s like an old Zeller’s or Kresgies, for those of you who know.When my friend was here to visit last week, we went in and he came out with a case full of gorgeous hair product, all for about ten dollars.
There were a few toaster ovens, microwave ovens and there was a convection over. Counter top type, on sale. I checked them all out, then carried on. Checked another store the next day, they have a crockpot, slow cooker I may go back for, but I digress, I went back today to get it. I walked down with my bundle buggy, determined to bring that bad boy home.
I went in, went up to it, smiled and said Hola to the guy who recognised me from the other day and pointed at said convection over and smiled and said, por favor. Pointing and showing people things is how I survive here. More on that later.
My lovely assistant, whose name tag read, Melvyn, and I was in no position to argue was more than happy to accommodate. He got it down, checked it all over and the went and got a long pole to poke the box on the top shelf. He got it down and started to pack up the oven , all the while other people kept coming up and asking for stuff. That happens all the time here, but more on that later.
He packed up the box and the whole while I was watching him, you might think I was thinking about all the delicious things I was now going to be able to make. Cakes, roasted vegetables, pizza, frozen goodies like samosa, but no. No. I stood there thinking, my cats will spin on their tails when they see the size of this box.