sink or swim

Sometimes, it's the simplest things that unglue me. My washing machine broke. I opened the door and water came rushing out. I'm generally calm in a crisis. Breathe. Think. Okay, how do I fix this?

It's a old German machine. I managed to find a German owner's manual online, and through the magic of Google, was able to clean the drain pump. I was feeling so hopeful! But when I ran another load, I flooded my basement, again.

I've been fortunate in my adult life that money hasn't been an issue. A car repair or a broken appliance was never more than a slight inconvenience. But right now, I may as well be broke.

I don't know how to get a new washing machine. I found a place to order one online, but they only offer curbside delivery. That's so not going to help me!

My machine also has a weird outlet that's not like the others in the basement, so I suspect the plug on the new machine will also need to be modified. How am I going to deal with that?

I hate that I don't know how to fix things here. I hate that I can't jump in my car, drive to Sears or wherever, speak to the salesperson in English, throw some money at the issue and be done with it.

The benefits of this experience of living abroad far outweigh the negatives, but sometimes, something as simple as a broken washing machine is enough to send me to bed in tears before 8 o'clock.

Sink or swim. There is no other choice. Tomorrow, I will find the strength and determination to swim. Again.