life-changing events

Hello Internets! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend because I sure did.

Two things came to me that will make day to day life *so* much easier. And no, neither one of them is knowing what happened to Harry Potter (la la la la la…I’m not listening…).

Here are some clues:


pick a cycle

Aren’t they beautiful?

My Italy-based readers will probably appreciate these more than others, but I can’t contain my excitement. So expats, please explain why I’m so happy to the rest of the class.

I also did other fun things this weekend like hang out with P down at our garden and take far too many photos–but you’ll have to wait for those just a bit longer. Work calls!

And, by the way, if anyone still wants to play Sognatrice is…, you have more time before the final reveal! You’ll get to see how close you came to the real answers, but I’ll also be picking favorites as well. Tough choices ahead, I tell you.

And another week begins!


[tags]telecom italia, alice, washing machines[/tags]

43 Beans of Wisdom to “life-changing events”
  1. Robyn

    Broadband! I couldn’t live in Italy without it. I often wonder what it would have been like before email and Skype, to be so far from one’s original home – waiting up to sicx weeks for letters. And I love my Italian washing machine too!

  2. Verilion

    Ah a washing machine; couldn’t live without one. As for broadband, how have you been blogging without it? mother still has dial up(!) and I gave up checking my e mail it was taking so long.

  3. Nora B.

    That looks like a very special washing machine…so cool!

  4. Michellanea

    I recognize that washer! When you do dark clothes, don’t overload and use the extra risciacquo feature. Just a couple of tips. πŸ™‚ The weird thing is that your commands are in English while mine are Italian. Cycle 8 (FlashClean), for example, on mine is PulitoExpress.

  5. blondie

    Looks like the flashiest wash machine I have seen ever! You go, girl!!! Wash like you have never washed before…

    πŸ™‚ blondie

  6. ViVi

    I’m left wondering how you washed your clothes before you got a washing machine! Congrats on the new additions! πŸ™‚

  7. Tarie

    Hello, I’m your new reader. I love your blog. πŸ™‚ (No, this is not a spam comment. πŸ˜€ )

  8. sognatrice

    Robyn, yes, my village is finally wired for ADSL, and I’m all hooked up! It’s so lovely. I’m now busy signing up for fun stuff like Skype and also checking out all the stuff I can now download. Woohoo! Thanks for commenting!

    Verilion, I suppose you can tell I’m quite a patient person to blog on dial-up, right? I couldn’t believe how quickly those photos uploaded this morning! Yeah!

    Nora, mostly I find it special because it’s mine (my first!), but thanks for sharing my enthusiasm πŸ™‚

    Michelle, this is similar to yours–same brand, but it’s not “pro-green” according to websites I’ve seen (the Indesit site sucks (both UK and Italian) as I can’t load anything on it!). Anyway, she holds 7 kilos (woohoo!), but the most exciting thing for me is that there are actually short cycles as options. I use liquid detergent, so I didn’t notice any problems with the darks.

    About the commands–it *is* funny that they’re in English, especially when P’s friend (from whom we got a great deal) was explaining them to me. Um, ho capito buddy, it’s my lingua πŸ˜‰
    Blondie, I guess it’d be wrong to say I’m a washing machine, but….

    ViVi, I have been using P’s mom’s washer (it’s in the house we’re moving to, but that they moved out of 2 years ago), and then it broke a few weeks ago. So I’ve been *hand washing* ever since. Needless to say, any washing machine at this point would’ve been glorious πŸ˜‰

    Tarie, welcome, and thanks for your (non-spam) comment πŸ˜‰

  9. jennifer

    Broadband in Italy is truly a life changing event! And that washer, too… life is good

  10. Shelley - At Home in Rome

    OMG, I have newfound respect in learning that you were using dial-up prior to now. Patience, that’s an understatement, my friend! Welcome to the world of high-speed!

    And, how funny, I have the same washing machine too! Mine is like Michelle’s (pulito express, etc.) It’s a little workhorse, let me tell you! I do a lot of my guest laundry in it and it works fantastic. Luckily I only have two apartments otherwise I’d be forever at the laundromat.

  11. sognatrice

    Jennifer, I was joking with a girlfriend here how really and honestly I don’t want an engagement ring–but I’d *love* a vacuum…dare I ask for a steam cleaner?

    Shelley, yeah! I’m happy to hear more praise for Indesit washers; Michelle recommended hers the other day on Expats in Italy (GRAZIE MILLE to everyone who commented!), so when P’s friend said he had a 7 kilo Indesit for a great price, I was already breathing a sigh of relief. That was Saturday morning on the phone; I checked it out on the Internet, called him back, and he delivered it Saturday afternoon.

    I was beside myself with glee. I think this is the first time I’ve ever experienced that kind of instant gratification here πŸ™‚

  12. Giulia

    I am crazy gelosa!!! You’ve got Alice? *sigh* Am I the only one left with stupid ass dial-up? Waaaaaaaahhhhhh πŸ™ What speed did you get?

    Auguri for the washing machine! Flash clean looks like it will keep you sane when it comes to time. Is that the shortest wash time it offers, 1 hour? I have a ‘mix 30’ option that washes in a temperature of 30 in 30 minutes. I love it!

    Have fun with your new connection. I can only imagine what you will have to offer on the blog now that you are ‘faster!’ πŸ˜‰

  13. Michellanea

    cI use liquid too but I still used to get white spots all over my dark clothes. Maybe because it’s one of the models that supposedly uses very little water. Anyway, good news that yours doesn’t have that problem!

  14. sognatrice

    Giulia, speed? Does it matter? It’s hella faster than dial-up! Sorry πŸ™ Actually right now I’m connecting at 12 measly Mbps, but it’s still so much faster. They tell me that once it stops being free in a month or so and I start paying, the speed will go up. Uh huh.

    As for the cycles, the Number 11 is a 30 minute, although I’m not sure I trust it since the full-length cycle is, ahem, over two hours. Seriously, does anyone know what the big difference is? I mean, why have a 30 minute cycle if it doesn’t get the clothes clean? I used the hour and 50 minute cycles yesterday–seemed fine to me. And I actually had time to do more than two loads (believe me, I’ve let things stack up)!

    Michelle, that’s odd with the spots. I’ll stay vigilant, just in case. Like I said, this washer isn’t actually Pro-Green, but I think all the Indesits use less water. Maybe. Boh. I only did one load of darks, so maybe I got lucky–perhaps it’s easing me into a false sense of security. Even the washer is furba?

    We’ll know more as time goes on πŸ˜‰

  15. sognatrice

    Ah Giulia, I forgot to say–I actually was thinking of you when all of this was going on; what we did here is got together a bunch of people from the town to make requests to Telecom (over the past 2 years or so), and they finally laid the cables. So be persistent, and hopefully you’ll be able watch YouTube freely like I can now.

    (Do you even realize how much Conan O’Brien I watched yesterday?)

  16. goodthomas

    With the amount of images you load up on here (which are always quite lovely), I find it amazing you were using dial-up. You are extremely patient

    So broadband and a washing machine. Goodness. If it makes you smile — and say “whoohoo” — that is a good thing, no matter what it is.

  17. Giulia

    I don’t do my regular washes in the 30 minute one. The things that I usually throw in are clothes that aren’t really dirty to throw in the hamper but not yet clean enough to wear again without washing. There are times that we will wear something for literally two hours, so I throw them into the 30 minute wash to freshen em up. It’s good for that. I wouldn’t wash heavily soiled clothing in that cycle at all. My whites wash for a good two and a half hours. Well, it doesn’t wash for that long, but as I’m sure you know, the cycle is that long because the washing machines here heat the water themselves rather than it coming directly from a hot water faucet.

    I’m still gelosa about your faster internet! :p Happy for you, really… but still gelosa. lol

    So, I have to gather round the town folk and make requests to Telecom to see if they will lay the cables within the next two years? *sigh* That’s great that you’re getting caught up on your Conan O’Brien shows. I stay away from YouTube as much as possible because I only get frustrated when I try to watch something. πŸ™

  18. Laane

    a 7 kilo washing machine? WOW!

    Wish I had one too.


  19. Sara

    I have never been to Italy and know nothing about European appliances, but I think you got a washing machine. Oh, fabulous. Is this your first one of your very own or are you replacing something else?

    I once was so poor I used to do my laundry in the bathtub with the cheapest liquid detergent I could find (which was also my shampoo; it was Crystal Octagon, and it was something like a buck a litre back then) and then hang it up on hangers off the gutters outside to dry. I think my clothes got cleaner this way than at any laundromat, but it sure felt just a stone’s throw away from a washboard in the river. Having a washer and dryer in the same place where I live, in my own space and everything, no quarters or sharing with neighbors involved, is something I will never stop appreciating as a luxury. And when they break? Oy, you don’t want to talk to me until they get fixed.

    I hope you and P and Alice will be very happy together for many years. It can be a mΓ©nage Γ  trois of convenience, or something.

  20. somepinkflowers

    a washing machine…
    just like the one in
    ***Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows***
    on page 85!

    …just joking!

    i LOVE that yours has a sport cycle!
    i had no idea you played sports…

    i mean,
    i knew you were a GOOD sport
    but this is so different…


    PS–i have an Oreck XL21 vacuum cleaner
    and it does everything
    except change the spark-plugs
    in my jeep…
    so i can appreciate your enthusiasm.

  21. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Congrats on the washer!! It so funny it’s in English.

    I used the washer at my apartment in Rome and one shirt came out a size smaller because I couldn’t understand the directions and the water was scalding hot.

  22. Caroline in Rome

    Oh my, I think we have the same washing machine.

  23. stefanie

    It has special cycles for shoes and for athletic clothes??

    You crazy Italians…

  24. sognatrice

    gt, thank you–see, it doesn’t take much to make me happy :0

    Giulia, that’s about what I figured regarding the short cycles; for towels, whites, P’s work stuff, I’d use the long, but for the “not really dirty” stuff, the short cycles will be lovely–especially now since we’re sweating through several outfits a day πŸ™

    I know how you feel about YouTube as I just felt in on Saturday; I used to just mute the computer and let it load while I did something else–when it finished it was usually OK to watch in its entirety. You know, sometimes waiting an hour for three minutes is *so* worth it πŸ˜‰

    Laane, the bigger capacity was really my only requirement; I don’t know what my MIL’s was, but it was too small for my liking; this one seems just right–like I can actually wait a week and do laundry instead of every single day. I’m hoping that it’ll all even out in the energy/water bill, especially since now I can use shorter cycles where I didn’t have a choice before.

    Sara, this is my very first washing machine (although it is to replace that of P’s mom’s that I had been using). The dryer might be next once I see how much energy I’m using on this bad girl (I’d say boy, but in Italian, the word is feminine). Anyway, once P and I move down to the new house, it’ll also mark the first time I’ve ever had laundry services on the premises without having to even go outside (in Philly, it was in the basement, but I had to go around the entryway). I’m *very* excited for that. Glad you don’t have to use shampoo anymore πŸ™‚

    As for Alice (pronounced “ah-LEE-chay” in Italian, btw)…P mostly likes to watch πŸ˜‰

    SPF, the sport cycle cracks me up, actually; I never knew I was abusing my sneakers by throwing them into the washer *without* a special cycle. It’d be pushing it to say I play sports, although I do yoga and walk an awful lot (thanks to some cute doggie that might you know).

    I’m drooling over your vacuum, so I hope it doesn’t short out πŸ˜‰

    NYC, took me a while to figure out the whole thing when I first got here too–so many choices on even the basic ones. And the Celsius certainly didn’t help πŸ˜‰

    Now I even get to pick my spin speed; I don’t remember dealing with that in America, but perhaps I always just used crappy washers. Boh.

    Caroline, I’m afraid to ask whether you like yours…perhaps it’s better I don’t know πŸ˜‰

    Stefanie, any time Italians can throw in calcio/soccer/football, you can bet it’s going to be used as a selling point–notice the photos are related to a very specific sport….

  25. Roam To Rome...

    Hehe… looking at the response you got here I take it we all LOVE our broadband and not having to wash clothes by hand πŸ™‚

    Like Shelly said, we have newfound respect for you learning you had dial up and no washing machine at home! yet you just patiently made the best of it, I’m sure πŸ™‚

  26. Delina

    “Flashclean” Woohooooooooo! Happy washing πŸ™‚

  27. JennieBoo


    I think I’ll play this evening….

    What a cute idea! I may have to still it….:D

  28. Frances

    What a score – a washer!
    Congrats coming at you from a rainy New York,

  29. Paolo

    Jeebus, can’t let Denise see this blog. We have had wireless broadband from the git-go, but we still have to go to the LaunderLand for clean linens.

    I am convinced that she won’t marry me until she sees the w/d…

  30. Shan

    I am so jealous of the broadband!

    Oh and congrats on the washer!

  31. a far away friend

    Interesting that the words are in English. Did you order it that way?? I can’t believe there is actually a set cycle for shoes. Different.

  32. Wanderlust Scarlett

    YAY! The marvels of modern technology, right at your fingertips.

    That’s so great!!!
    Can’t wait to see the photos of your giardino… sure they will be wonderful!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  33. Madelyne

    Don’t know how you were patient enough to keep blogging (and with photos) with dial-up. That and your new super fast washing machine means you will have so much more time on your hands….so what do you plan to do?????

  34. MB

    OK, I’m really jealous of the broadband. Yep, still on dial-up here with no relief in site. And the washer’s pretty darn cool too. Much better than hand-washing. I do have a vacuum though, but no dryer. Like you, I’ve thought about getting a dryer (I hate stiff socks), but I’m afraid of what the electric would cost. Have fun with your new toys!

  35. sognatrice

    Roamer, hah! I have you all fooled if you think I went along with all this patiently! Let’s just say these two things are why I learned a lot of Italian swear words quickly πŸ˜‰

    Delina, “flashclean” cracks me up. I’m almost caught up at this point–now I’m washing things that have been waiting a long, long time, just because it’s so easy!

    JennieBoo, you do what you have to do–I’d be flattered πŸ˜‰

    Frances, thanks. I’ve been waiting a long time for this lovely addition.

    Paolo, you smart. The principle you described is our (inverse) version of “Don’t buy the cow….”

    Shan, you suffer too on dial up? I’m so sorry. You’re quite a photo poster as well. Goodness we’re dedicated πŸ˜‰

    Friend, nope, no special English order. In fact, I’m guessing this was the last of this model they had in the store b/c P’s friend gave us a great deal. I loved when his friend was explaining the functions, saying all the English in an Italian accent–I never get tired of that πŸ™‚ As for the shoe cycle, well, you know how particular Italians can be about those πŸ˜‰

    Scarlett, photos coming soon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Madelyne, I have to admit I’m not really in the washing routine yet. I keep kind of forgetting about the clothes being done an hour earlier, ruining the point of having a speed cycle. Sort of–knowing that they’re done for sure when I finally remember them is pretty good too. You’re so right about the time though–everything is just moving so much faster! More photos perhaps? Hmmm….

    MB, never lose hope on ADSL. They had been telling me it’s coming here for 4 years, and here we are. I think I’ll get just a small vacuum to start out with (I’ve seen them for around 60-70 euros)–just something to suck up the dirt instead of swish it around.

    I *hate* sweeping (notice I’m not going to even try to say *that* one in Italian)–my Italian speakers get it, right?

    Thank you all so much for commenting on internet access and a washing machine. You really amaze me sometimes πŸ™‚

  36. Judith in deep jealousy

    I am not sure I can forgive you.deep jealousy

  37. sognatrice

    Judith, I’m guessing this about Alice. Don’t worry, someday you’ll meet her too. I hope πŸ˜‰

  38. a far away friend

    Glad to hear that you got a great deal !!! I didn’t know that Italians were finicky about their shoes. Is that something I should know about???

  39. sognatrice

    Friend, well a great deal was going to have to be a given; I can’t imagine growing up where we did and then ever *overpaying* for anything. Just part of our training, I think πŸ˜‰

    As for Italians and their shoes, well, let’s just say that it barely matters what you’re wearing so long as your shoes are stylin’–seriously, the women will look you up and down to check out your outfit, but their eyes hover on the shoes.

    That said, of course *those* kinds of shoes wouldn’t be thrown in the washing machine anyway, but yes, even sneakers must be immaculate. Weird when you think that when I was young, I’d hate to wear sneakers that looked *too* new.

    I’m pretty sure the sport cycle was just a ploy to get husbands involved in choosing a cleaning apparatus–“Look honey! Soccer clothes! This is cool!”

    Or perhaps I underestimate the male consumer mind. Maybe. But I don’t think so.

  40. Judith in deepest depression

    I moved here in 2000 and they promised me broadband within 2 years. It is now 2007 and they are promising me within 2 years. Tele2 called me up and said it was available and all I had to do was sign a contract. It was a lie and a trick.

  41. sognatrice

    Tele2 is just mean. I think Giulia had that happen with her too, but with Telecom if I’m not mistaken. It’s one thing to not make broadband available, but they don’t have to taunt people on top of it.

    So what you’re saying is, Rocco and Luigi have some more work to do in Umbria?

  42. Judith reviving

    Send them up!

  43. sognatrice

    Judith, they have some fires to put out first, unfortunately, but then they’re all yours. And they want to see that hat!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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