The Adventures and Challenges of Life Overseas

Making Big Purchases in a Foreign Country

While living in Budapest I had the task of purchasing a washing machine and dryer for my new rental house. I’d  looked at the appliances the previous weekend, so I felt confident going into the situation. (That was probably my first mistake.) I went to Auchen; which I’ve been told is a French store similar to a Super Walmart. On this visit, to a different location, no one in the appliances department spoke English, fabulous.

Having lived in Budapest fourteen months, and had a million good experiences with Hungarian’s speaking English I knew there was at least one English speaker in the store. I pressed my luck and I insisted through sign language and basic English, that the sales man call someone who could speak English and help me. I waited, and I looked at the machines.

Eleven Languages I Can’t Speak

The machine I’d looked at previously stood in front of me. From my walk around it appeared to be the only washing machine and dryer combination in the store. I wasn’t going to be picky, It was time to exit doing laundry in the 14th century. After ten minutes a young woman appeared to help. She spoke excellent English and she confirmed that the machine was in fact a washer and a dryer. We looked inside the washing machine/dryer for a manual. There was a manual in eleven languages; just none of them English, #@!? On my last visit the manual included English, this was not going well; how was I supposed to figure out the many features and buttons in languages I couldn’t speak?


Google to the rescue, soon we were googling the machine; we quickly found the company site and  a download version in English. The site stopped working and wouldn’t complete the email process. On we went, next we found a YouTube video that wasn’t half bad.  I didn’t envision that when I thought about buying a washer and dryer in Hungary. At that point I told her I would like to purchase the machine. At some point you have to simply have faith.

48 Hours and a Gift

48 hours later my washer and dryer arrived; best of all the delivery men brought me an owners manual in English. I could have kissed the guy I was so happy. My washer and dryer work and I can report that I am figuring out the many settings it offers. It is a little challenging but that comes with living overseas. If I was looking for every day to be just like living in America; I’d be living in America. Instead I’m living a European adventure.