Jillian R.
It's not every day that I get to see the slums.

And I still will not ever get the chance if we hadn't gone looking for a washing machine. Yes, we went looking. Here's what happened;

Our flat comes with a manual washing machine. Who uses these nowadays anyway? I've never seen one until now:-
1. You turn on the water yourself;
2. Stand over it and watch it fill, turn off water yourself
3. When it finishes washing, twist the dial to "Drain" and then wait some more.
4. Repeat Steps 1-2 to clean clothes off soapy water, sometimes it doesn't do a very good job;
5. Repeat Step 3;
6.Transfer wet clothes by hand to the spin section, change function to "Spin".
7. Wait 5 mins for the spin cycle to finish while enduring loud clunking noise of washing machine trying to run around.

I'm not kidding about No.7 either. All in all, it's not even about the manual labor which I can't stand, I have really gotten quite used to it after a couple of times. It's the LINT which gets me. The washing machine has a lint trap which does not work AT ALL. Whenever a wash our cheap kitchen towels, the lint falls off and ruins the entire wash. After 3 weeks; I think I've had enough.

Since our flat is a rental and we still haven't decided if we're staying put in Oman, the best bet is to get a used washing machine. Our friend (and neighbor) offered to take us to where most of the used furniture stores were. Of the maybe 10 shops available only one had automatic washing machines for sale and they were too expensive. Our friend then told us that we should call out the price that we want loud enough so that other vendors in the area would overhear and try to match the offer. Eric did.

Less than a 5 minutes later, an Indian man approached us and told us that he had the washing machine we were interested in at his house. We followed him in our car for quite some distance until we got to an almost undeveloped part of Oman. Large heaps of sand could still be seen everywhere. The houses looked small from the outside, but inside, it was unbearably sad for me.

 (At least everyone had nice cars...)

(And the scenery is not all that bad)

The Indian guy lives in one of these houses with his wife and 3 boys; one was only a toddler. The queen-size bed was placed in the living room only room in the house while the kitchen was maybe the size of our 2-seater dining table. The washing machine was in the bathroom which was in a, um...very unsavory condition. The floor and walls were made from cinder blocks and wasn't even cemented over. I hated myself for trying not to touch anything because everything looked oily and/or dusty. I thought no amount of bleach could clean the place out.

Well, since he was selling the washing machine which looked fairly new at a very good price, we took it. When we came home we bleached it, well, I mean, ran an empty wash with lots of bleach in it.

And once again, our clothes will be clean and lint free!

It's kind of ironic though isn't it? Buying a washing machine from the slums of Oman?
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