The following story is so funny, I couldn’t help but posting it. After 16 years in this country, I am obviously too stupid to operate a simple German household appliance.
A little bit of background:
When we left Germany, we sold our washing machine to an American gal who managed to break it within three months. It was the most expensive appliance we owned, and I still get teary-eyed when I think about how wonderful this thing was.
The washing machine had thee dials, one for program, one for temperature, one for spin. You had to pick each separately – for example wash at “normal” but at “95 C” with a spin that would knock your socks off. These machines heat their own water, so you have to add softener separately just for that, and a little more if you are washing “boiled” or at “95 C”. Whites actually came out white, and not like here where they are usually gray unless you add bleach – and depending on the spin you picked, you hardly had to dry your clothes.
I thought then that she was just a little inept – after all, it’s just a washer, right? How hard can it be? Until I saw what washers and other appliances looked like here in the US. Apart from the fact that they are all supersized, they are waaaay easier to operate.
After my utter failure in this case, I am now convinced that Germans engineer things for people with doctorate degrees, because my superiority came back to bite me:
A German friend gave me a close-to-new Siemens food processor, which can chop, stir and purée. Great stuff. The plug etc. was not a problem, we have an AC converter. I was planning to use it for the Memorial Day BBQ, and among others I wanted to really purée the herbs and other ingredients for the Frankfurt-style herb dip. This Siemens was JUST the thing to do that with – until I stood there and with a puzzled look on my face was trying to figure out where that attachment went.
I looked all over, even turned some dials – finally gave up and used a hand blender, which didn’t quite do the job. It was only LATER that I had the idea to actually LIFT the dial cover UP – and voilà!
Have you ever failed at operating a simple machine like this?