TRAVEL with pat and lew

dishwasher & other stuff

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2007

In the summer of 2005, we had made the acquaintance of Henri, the proprietor of the only appliance store in Collioure. Henri speaks no English, but he spent a delightful half hour with us, communicating by pointing at catalogues and writing down prices.

We made the decision to use the Collioure store, rather than larger stores in nearby towns, even if the price was a little higher, which it was, so we could make local contacts for installation and subsequent service, if needed.

This has turned out to be a good decision.

January is a very good time, in a summer resort town, to buy and install appliances. Nobody has anything else to do. Henri’s colleague Yannick, who does speak English, arrives to take measurements and consider installation options.

Two days later, we have a functioning dishwasher, built into the existing kitchen cabinets, and a functioning clothes washer, free standing in the kitchen and doubling as additional counter space. Yannick provides operating instructions, and promises to return if we have any difficulties.

We opted against a clothes dryer, mainly on space considerations. Acting on Yannick’s advice, we purchased a clothes washer with high powered spin cycles to remove as much water as possible, and a drying rack for the terrace. If it’s sunny, the clothes dry pretty quickly. When it’s not sunny, that’s another story.

While the new appliances are being installed, Yannick notices that our hot water heater is leaking. A call to our friend Sam (the realtor) locates a plumber. Yes, he can come today, but he doesn’t speak English. Sam will come with him to translate.

That afternoon, we have a new hot water heater. The plumber also files down a sticky bathroom door.

Sam directs us to the only locksmith in Collioure, who also runs a shoe store, and we install additional locks and a bar for the sliding door to the terrace.

So far so good.

France Telecom and IKEA are entirely different stories (see problems).

LEW

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