Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freezer Time

We have a freezer!! 

It's a minor miracle.....but we DO have a freezer!  

And I am HaPpY, HaPpY, HaPpY!!  :)

It didn't look promising last week.....

Or the week before.....

Or the week before that.....

In most places in the world, you just walk into a store, swipe your credit card and purchase an appliance.  Somehow I really thought that it would be the same here. 

Not that easy, friends......just not that easy!

Right after we moved here, we quickly determined that a freezer was a necessity!  Since we have become food hoarders and try to save every bit we can, we HAD to have a freezer.  Many of my friend's kitchens contain multiple freezers, so I knew that this should be an easy process.  Oh was I naive!   About 6 weeks ago, I started my research to determine the best brand, price, etc..  In hindsight, my research really should have been simpler.  I should have seen the one they actually HAD in stock and purchased it quickly.   But no...I went to 3 stores, compared prices, looked up the brands on the Internet and decided on the one I wanted.  With the decision made,  I went to the first store to make my purchase and was told...."Madam, we don't have THAT one, but come look at the chest freezer over here."    Let me add that my MAIN requirement was an UPRIGHT freezer, since the hall closet (where the freezer was going to reside) wasn't large enough for a chest size.  After being assured that it would be back in stock on Thursday, I decided to wait.  Let's just say that FOUR Thursdays came and went before I decided to look elsewhere.  Everywhere I went had a similar freezer and everywhere I went didn't have it in stock.  Everyone  wanted to show me the chest freezers and tried to help me understand that I could 'make it fit'.  In the meantime, since this is a cash society, I gathered up 3-4 inches of cash, put it in a bag just so I was ready to make a quick purchase.   Last week, I tried more stores.  The one I liked the best was CASH and CARRY.  I walked in, asked to see their freezers and was told that they ONLY carried chest freezers - even though various uprights were RIGHT in front of me.  Finally, I mentioned that I had CASH with me and I wanted to CARRY out a freezer today!!  The salesmen came out in droves - all to show me the upright freezers that were either way too small or NOT in stock.  They did however, have plenty of large body-sized chest freezers that they were SURE would fit in my tiny closet.   I think that I have visited every store in this part of Lagos that sells freezers.  Today, I walked into the grocery store and they had ONE upright freezer and they were willing to sell the floor model.  After haggling with the store manager, since it was more money than I had in my money bag, we finally agreed on the price.  I arranged delivery for tomorrow and put my LARGE amount of cash into the cash counting machine.  Everyone was happy!  :)

Within 30 minutes I got a call asking if they could deliver it today, since they didn't want to sell it to someone else.  By all means...come on!  On our way back home, we happened to pass a SPAR delivery truck sitting by the side of the road on one of the entrance streets.  Our driver stopped to ask him if he was delivering our freezer.  His phone had run out of batteries, so he was just sitting there hoping that we would come along and stop!   As we passed through the first gate, the guards wanted a 'dash' (tip) to let him through.  We haggled and haggled and finally paid a small bribe dash to facilitate entry.  We again had to talk to the guards in OUR compound to let the truck through the second gate and this time, we were more successful. 
Since the driver came by himself and I have never seen a dollie in Nigeria, he was soliciting help to get the freezer from the laying-down position to an upright one.  Then as they debated how to fit it in the elevator, I decided not to watch and went upstairs. 
Once they were able to get it into the flat, they proceeded to remove the packaging.  The freezer was on a Styrofoam piece with a box around it.  Instead of taking the box apart, they wanted to lift it off the top.  The problem was that the ceiling wasn't high enough!  After moving to a larger part of the den where the ceiling was higher, they determined that it still wasn't enough room to lift the top off.  The next thing I knew, they had taken the freezer out on the balcony and had leaned it against the railing pulling on the box top over open air.  I stood there in awe and prayed that the freezer didn't go over the balcony - 12 stories up!  I just didn't have the words to stop them! 
Finally, they were able to move it into the closet and get it set up.  They gave Gabriel lessons on how to OPEN the door and how to CLOSE the door, which took a good 5 minutes of explanation and demonstration.  When I asked for it to be plugged in, I was told that it needed to sit for a few hours to let the gas settle'.  What?  Apparently, after carrying the freezer on its side, the freon needed to move back to the right compartment!  And there was a little problem that the plug was TWO pronged, so we needed an adapter, then a voltage regulator and/or a UPS (universal power supply) to get it going. 
So tomorrow, we will purchase those items and get it all set up.  After I dashed the delivery man and signed the receipt, I pray that it will actually work when we plug it in!  And by the way, after all my research, I have never even heard of the brand Beko!   Have you?
It just makes me appreciate our new freezer even more!!  

2 comments:

Lucretia said...

What are you going to freeze crocodile, hippo, or the last "dash requestee"? Lucretia

Sam said...

Apparently someone needed a freezer box. I would have loved one as a kid for a fort. I feel the large box had a marketable value out on the street. We who live in a "disposable" society have no concept about those who live in a cardboard and tin shanty and call it home. Yes, reading your blog shows Us we have much to be thankful for in our little world.
And it is rumored, once a vertical freezer or refrigerator has been horizontal it should sit for while for the Freon to settle.
This sounds like Mexico times 5 to me with all the "Dash".