I’m standing outside my kitchen door trying to imagine American-sized appliances in there. Currently, we have a washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer and a stove in there. The reason I’m standing out here trying to imagine it is, if they were all American-sized, I can’t imagine being able to fit in there with them. And my kitchen is unusual only in that it is relatively large; when we briefly considered moving, we viewed two-story houses that had less space than our flat, and the kitchens were tiny.
To be fair, I have been in some houses that have kitchens the size of the ones I remember from the US, but they are the exception. The new flats they are chucking up all over the southeastâ€”lovingly referred to as breezeblock barracksâ€”have kitchen half the size of ours.
But for all that, I have few complaints. Despite the fact that all of the appliances measure about 20 inches wide and fit under the kitchen counters, they are plenty big enough. Seriously, American fridges might be big, but they are mostly filled with crap, and you really don’t want to go poking around in the hidden depths for fear of what you might find. And, as a single man in the States, when I kept my fridge clutter-free, it simply looked pathetic holding only a six-pack of Corona, a bottle of milk and some left over pizza.
Our freezer actually holds more than my American freezer did, and the washer and dryer, though they can’t hold nearly as much as an American washer/dryer, are adequate if used intelligently.
But the stoveâ€”this malevolent electric monster too small to hold a full-sized turkey and with only two temperature settings (not hot enough, and way too hot)â€”has been the bane of our existence since moving in. And I doubt it’s suddenly going to get any better. I can see it now, sitting there at the end of the counter, just waiting to inflict more mischief on me. On those few occasions when we do cook a large dinner, things have to be cooked in shifts, so the food is either burned, cold or still on the stove being heated up. We use the microwave a lot.
Fortunately, even imagining it stuffed full of major appliances, I can still reach around the door way and fetch a beer out of the fridge. I think I’ll do that now and continue my ruminations from the safety of the balcony.