Today I noticed a friend’s name and the German word “Waschmaschine” (washing machine) when I pulled down the notification screen on my phone. It was a WhatsApp notification and without opening it, I knew what it might be about. I thought “No, please, let me be wrong” when I opened WhatsApp but yes, it was exactly that, a friend asking me if I can help him to get a washing machine from the store and carry it up to his new apartment. We helped him last week to move. I don’t have issues to help friends carrying things but honestly, a washing machine is definitely not my favorite item to carry. But friends help each other and I replied “Wann willst du das machen?” (When do you want to do it?). We agreed that he will pick me up at 6pm to drive to the store.
When he picked me up, he still had his dog in the car. He walked the dog earlier as he said. Already in the car, he asked me if it would be ok if we drive to his parents first because he had to bring them something. I said, no, it’s fine, I have time. He left the car and visited his parents and I was alone with his dog. It’s a French Bulldog and he trusts me. His head appeared on my left, basically watching through the middle of the seats. I took a snapshot with my phone, which you will see below. He checked where his owner went and looked at me confused. So, I started talking to the dog and pet him and he relaxed. We waited for five minutes and my friend was back and we drove to the store.
Getting the washing machine into the car was the easiest job because you can park directly in front of the warehouse elevator and for the remaining 10 meters, they moved the washing machine to the car with a hand truck. So, we drove to his apartment and I thought the next step would be the hardest part. His new home is in an old but beautiful building. As I said, I saw it already last week because we helped him move. But that’s also why I knew it’ll be a circular staircase, and getting a washing machine up there is not exactly my favorite activity. But my friend saw it the same way, he said “Now that I see the circular staircase again, I wish I wouldn’t need a washing machine” and we laughed.
But before pessimism sets in, I switched to Low German and said “Nich lang schnacken. Wat mutt, dat mutt!” (No long talks. What has to be done has to be done!). We’re both physically fit and the weight of the washing machine was not the issue but the fact that the circular staircase was narrow and each step dangerous because the stairs are very narrow at one side and wider on the other side. I carried at the bottom and when the curve came with the narrow stairs, I said: “Let’s do it slowly, I need to watch/feel my steps” because flying down a circular staircase with a washing machine is probably not how I imagine a nice evening. But we managed it and at the next level my friend asked if I want a break but I said “Let’s push straight through there if you are ready too” because when my bloodstream is going, it’s the best time to push through the job. My friend saw it the same way and we carried the machine up to the third level.
That’s where I thought we had the worst behind us. But guys, I was wrong (laugh). He has the connection in the bathroom, so, this is where it had to go. Now imagine the following situation. You can’t go straight through there because the washbowl of the bathroom is the first obstacle. We had to lift the washing machine almost a meter up and push it through. The only issue, there was a toilet behind it and barely space to move and we couldn’t put the machine to the ground. On the right of the toilet, there was a small niche where we needed to place the machine and that niche was blocked by a stop valve. We couldn’t move the machine below the valve, because we were holding the machine over the toilet. We had to get the machine over the valve and place it into the niche.
We stemmed the machine over all obstacles but nobody did fit into the niche except the washing machine. So, how do you carry a washing machine over an obstacle like a valve if you can’t have a person on the other side? Can one person do it alone? No. Just imagine a brave person crawling below the washing machine, playing the hydraulic lift and another person pushing the machine into the niche. My friend was below the machine and I supported as much as I could in this small space and pushed the machine into the niche. Don’t ask me how my friend got out again. I can’t explain but it worked (lol). But it was the first time I saw someone under a washing machine and knowing the weight of the machine, I didn’t like the situation at all. I imagined a phone call like “A washing machine is on top of my friend, please send an ambulance” and remembered that I saw a TV show once where they showed similar stupid accidents.
But we managed it and on the way back to the car my friend couldn’t stop laughing after I said: “I didn’t assume this would be one of those days where you’re reminded how adventurous life is”. He replied “Life at the extremes, huh?” and “Believe me, if I move out, I gift the washing machine to the new tenant”. Afterward, we were a bit sad that we didn’t record the final part in the bathroom because that would have been a viral video for sure. Or recording the conclusion in the car, that would have been a video with contagious laughter. Do you know these moments when you have tears in your eyes because you can’t stop laughing? That was one of those days. I thought my friend wanted to drive me home but he was thankful and asked me if I’d like to eat something. So, we drove to a Turkish kebab shop and he ordered a large mixed grill plate with lots of salad for us both and something to drink. We chatted for another hour and left the kebab shop and he drove me home.