Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Fridge Arrived Today 9/6/08

The Fridge Arrived Today 
Today we received the refrigerator and it is a glorious day. Here is the old one. Next to the dish washer it looks pretty big, huh?

Wednesday we went to the appliance store (El Dorado) to put a deposit on, or buy if necessary, the refrigerator we had previously decided to buy. When we arrived we found that not only was that unit gone, but most of the other refrigerators were sold and the only ones left were the most expensive ones.

There is a rule around here that we broke, "If you see what you want, buy it. It will not be there when you return and may never be available again." Five hours and 4 other El Dorado stores later we found a unit with some cosmetic damage that they were discounting to about $875.

It has many features you will admire. First, it is totally recyclable. Note the symbol inside the door. The door has many adjustable shelves, some of which Cindy cannot reach.

The bottom door shelf has plastic fingers to keep the tall bottles from falling out of the shelf when you jerk the door open, looking for that cold bottle of Bud.

The interior shelves are roomy and adjustable with a special bottle chiller rack about 6 feet off the floor. Cindy can just touch the ends of the bottles of water we will store there.

The freezer has three drawers and lots of room. Cindy can prepare dishes ahead of time and be able to put together a meal more quickly and efficiently.

After some attempts to get the price lowered (it's hard to negotiate with someone who really does not want to sell the item at all) we bought it, or attempted to buy it. The other El Dorado stores accepted credit cards, but at the cashier we were told that this store does not. Surprise!

Coming up with 21,199 roubles is hard to do out of the loose change in your pocket. A few days earlier we were impressed to get some emergency money for each of us "just in case" and I guess this was the "case". Between us we had 22,000 roubles which produced one rouble change from our purchase. When she handed it to Cindy with the customary glare, I broke out laughing. The whole series of events stretching over 5+ hours were so filled with typical Russian thinking and attitude that I could not contain my reaction to the irony of getting a one rouble coin change. (You had to have been there; all day)

In the purchase was included a surge protector because Russian power is notorious for its spikes and I didn't want to fry our new unit. It also included 250 roubles for delivery. I had heard some stories about delivery guys wanting more money and asked the salesman what was included in the delivery service. They were to bring it into the apartment, unwrap it, move it into place in the kitchen, plug it in, and be sure it worked. Cindy interrogated him further on the definition of "move it into place" etc. and he insisted, more forcefully each time, that it meant what it sounded like . . . they would put it in the kitchen and be sure it worked. More on that later.

We must have a whole squadron of angels assigned to us because everything worked out perfectly.

Sasha, employed as the mission PFR needed the office keys to allow the delivery of a repaired fax machine this morning. He arrived at 10 am, took the keys and asked if he could return them tomorrow at church. We both felt better about getting them today and he promised to return them later. When he did so, we stood for 15 minutes talking about some repairs needed in our apartment and getting together socially with he and his wife who had just moved from Omsk to Novosibirsk and didn't have many friends here. As he was about to leave, the downstairs buzzer went off and the delivery was here. In three minutes they were pulling this hugh fridge out of the elevator.

He stood with us as they set it in the hall and pealed off the bubblewrap protecting it in transit. Just then, Sasha's helper (Serge) arrived because he was tired of waiting in the car. They told Sasha that for 200p (p is the rouble equivalent to our $) more they would put it in the kitchen that was 4 feet away. I knew that they would do that. I just knew it. It is soooo Russian. He declined their offer and, after we gave them the delivery copy of the receipt, they left in a huff. Under-the-table money is a way of life here.

In less than a minute, Sasha & Serge move the 110 pound fridge (plastic doesn't weigh much" into the kitchen and we plugged it in. Maledietz! (that's a big harishol). We were in business. Those angels had gotten Sasha to our place and delayed him just long enough to defeat the delivery men and take care of us. When we pointed it out, he said, "God whispered in my ear what to do."

Here is the old fridge, waiting to be cleaned out and shipped to a new location.

Now for the fridge. It is huge next to the old one. It is 200 centimeters tall but takes up the same floor space as the old smaller unit. What a blessing this is going to be for our missionaries, not to mention sister Cindy.

Finally, the food is transferred from the old into the new refrigerator and we are delighted. There is lots of room. In Sacramento you would not accept a damaged refrigerator in your home. In Novosibirsk, we are blessed to have it, and that is what every Russian thinks when he finally gets to purchase something like this.

This is what Cindy sent to my sister Diane today, explaining how much we love and admire our missionaries.

"You guys are awesome. Thanks for loving and supporting us and our faithful missionaries. It makes me cry as I write this to you. They had their district meeting with lunch to follow in our apartment yesterday which they do every other Friday. It was a very spiritual meeting. The Zone Leaders' spiritual thought was about testifying to the truthfulness of the gospel and reminding the Elders and Sisters to be confident in doing that as they search for, teach, and baptize the elect. Then they went around the room telling each missionary what they, as their Zone Leaders, admired and appreciated in them. It was a very special experience."

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

What great friends you are. What a country

1 comment:

Nils Bergeson said...
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