What's New On Tom's Travel Blog?

Flickr has been improved! Almost all photos on this blog come from my Flickr Photostream. You can now go directly to a page that shows all of my Flickr photo sets by following this link. It's the easiest way to navigate in my on-line photos.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Staying at Home, Spending Money

I e-mailed one friend today that I would be staying at home.  I was waiting for the washing machine repairman.  Not, the Maytag repairman, the Zanussi guy.  Our washing machine, lightly used, died after the third load placed in it yesterday.

While Zanussi is a good Italian brand, I'm not sure just where this one was built.  But it would no longer agitate and had a fairly strong "burnt electronics" odor emanating from it.  A friend located a repairman who would be at our place between 11 and 4 today.  I got the job of supervising since Linda was off to a newly found Gymnasium with one of our neighbors.  Hopefully, it is a quieter place than L.A. Fitness back home in Roseville. (If this kind of thing happened in Egypt, the State Department would put out a travel advisory!)  Maybe I can persuade her to blog about it.

Well, 4 p.m. came and went without a repairman.  At 6 p.m. as we were looking for alternative repairmen, the Zanussi guy showed up.  He quickly diagnosed the problem as the motor-starting capacitor, replaced it and was done by 6:30.  Total bill, 97 Egyptian Pounds - about 14 dollars.  I checked on the Internet tonight and the part alone would cost between 10 and 25 dollars in Britain and this Michigan company wants $38.85 for one.  Mine came with a one-year guarantee, by the way.  Needless to say, I tipped my repairman generously.

Photos?  Of course.  Here is Linda watching her first load of washing in the Zanussi in January of 2010.

And here is the defective capacitor.  Note the burned spot on the seal.  Linda said, "yes, that's the odor."  I felt bad that I didn't follow the smell and spot the burn.  But for $14 to have someone else fix it, I guess you just can't afford to do it yourself here.

Meanwhile, as I was waiting patiently for Mr. Zanussi, the doorbell did ring in the late afternoon.  It was the electric meter reader with the bill for the month of February.  We had the lights on quite a bit - well, except for those several days when the power was turned off for an hour at a time.  But we used 308 KWH for the month.  The bill came to a total of  $6.68  That's about 2 cents per KWH, or probably around 15% of what you are paying.  This is another energy subsidy from the government.

If you read the 1986 article on Cairo rioting that I mentioned in the nightclub post, you might have noted this:
The United States, which provides Egypt with about $2 billion a year, has been pressing Egypt to make deep cuts in its massive subsidies, viewed here as a necessary palliative for the poor and potentially volatile masses.
 Of course, when that was tried back in 1977, the result was the Egyptian Bread Riots.  Pity the poor man who will be elected president here next.  Egyptians have a keen sense of humor and they say that there is a campaign underway to depose the next president.  They just have to find out who it is.

No comments: