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Friday, January 16, 2015

Appliance Shopping

We only have minor upgrades in mind for our Cairo Condo this year.  Linda definitely wanted a new kitchen stove to make baking easier and I thought it was time to upgrade the television screen to high-definition.

We set out to accomplish this early in the trip so we could maximize our benefits during this winter.  We headed downtown with a friend to the appliance district.  Our friend's favorite store in the area has both of our needs covered and he was making some large purchases at the same time so we had bargaining power.

The appliance district is on a single street with maybe a hundred shops along a couple of city blocks.
ApplianceTrip-11 ApplianceTrip-09

If one store doesn't have what you want, you won't get to leave - the owner will be on the phone finding someone who does have it.  Meanwhile, sit down, please.  And have some tea.

Linda had very specific needs.  If you recall this post, our current stove requires that the oven be lit with a match and then just keeps getting hotter until you open the door.  It works a bit like grandma's did on the farm in 1900 except you don't have to put wood in it.

Stoves with the features Linda wants are mainly available in larger sizes with five burners or more.  But, we were fortunate to find a smaller four burner model (at a premium price) built for the "European and Italian markets."  Who knew that Italy was no longer in Europe.  Well, of course, they are just calling out Italy since all of the best chefs are known to live there. For now the new stove sits in our dining room awaiting installation. We got immediate delivery but not immediate installation.  We hope the installation will happen soon. Now that should be a real adventure!  Watch for further posts.
Oven-6 Oven-7

The television selection was simpler.  I wanted a 32 inch screen, preferably by Samsung.  Clearly the U.S.A standards dominate the television market - nothing else in the world is sold by inches except televisions.  We settled on a Samsung 32EH4003.  Amazon sells it for $219 but we paid around $290 here.  Electronics come at a premium due to heavy import duty.  The larger the screen, the greater the percentage duty, I am told.  Smartphones go for about double their U.S. price.  So we settled for this smaller and somewhat lower-end unit in spite of "but sir, it is not full HD!"  (It's a 720 scan line unit versus 1080.)  This is a great improvement over our previous TV that is now sitting on the floor looking for a worthy owner.

You can expect a significant improvement in the quality of screen captures that I post in the future.

I had previously upgraded the satellite receiver to an HD model.  No extra charge for HD - still free for my 400 channels and I am guessing that about a quarter of them are HD.  Interestingly, an OTA (Over the Air) channel scan gave me 13 local channels but none of them are  digital.  The Egyptian government hasn't seen fit to put their viewers through the same "buy a new TV or get a converter box" fiasco as in the United States.  Perhaps they have had enough revolutions.  That also means that our old TV will actually have some value to someone.

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