Les elements (appliances), part 5.5
And no, I'm not under the influence...
To me, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. (Although, I will say having a bathroom is a close second.) When I was designing my current kitchen 10+ years ago, no one understood that I wanted a large kitchen, a generous kitchen island to cook on, and—mon dieu, restaurant-style fixtures. That I wanted my kitchen to have a somewhat industrial feel was unheard of in a city where kitchens were usually off to the back of the apartment with a door that closes so that, historically, la domestique could work without disturbing la famille, and the family wouldn’t have to deal with the unseemly smell of food cooking.
I joked with a prying neighbor in my building, who was peering in one day, that I was opening a bakery, which prompted him to immediately tick off a roster of rules about why I couldn’t do that. He calmed down when I said I was kidding. As for me, though, I’d be thrilled to have a bakery in my building. I’m not kidding.
I was still somewhat of a naïve, glassy-eyed étranger and wanted a Wolf range since I had one in San Francisco and loved it. They’re available in France, but I found out that they were ungodly expensive—twice as expensive as they are in the States—and I couldn’t in my right mind buy, or even afford, one. I did ask for a professional discount, which appliance companies often do—at least in the U.S.—but was turned down. So I kept the small gas stovetop that was in the apartment, which ended up being the only thing that was in the apartment that I kept.
I’ve discussed being unable to actually look at the kitchen appliances, aka l’électroménager, I was interested in. While you can find almost anything you’re looking for online these days, I want to touch and feel appliances. Since I have to get an induction stove, which more and more people are warming up to, I didn’t want one that had a bunch of useless features and functions, which I’ve learned is a problem now that things are digital and they think adding more things is important, when all I want to do is turn it on and off and adjust the temperature without having an engineering degree. In order to simplify things, ovens and stoves now have digital screens and icons if you can’t figure out what temperature to fry an egg at or to reheat soup. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but those things I can handle.
I did a bunch of searching online to narrow down my appliance choices and brands. When you ask online, and even when you don’t ask, a lot of people kindly chime in with opinions. I stopped trusting online reviews around here since a company in Lyon (which is two hours from Paris by train) that I ordered an “In Stock” bathroom mirror from in April gave me a reasonable delivery day of 18 days later. We’re now going on 8 weeks, and counting, with no mirror in sight. So when I got an email last week asking me to review the mirror, I left a not-mean review that simply stated that I hadn’t received it yet after a considerable, and unexplained, delay (along with several conversations with their customer service team), which was promptly removed.
Who knew that one day I’d be erased? And over a mirror, of all things.
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