Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why ex-pats are always buying new vacuums.

Vacuums were never all they promised to be. I think in 35 years of housekeeping I have purchased at least 10 different vacuums, some ended on the dump pile after one year, others needed replacement parts after 1 or 2 years, others never seemed to work, and all of them gave me headaches from the "exhaust dust" blown into the room.

I was happy to get away from wall to wall carpets that we love so dearly in the United States. I have fewer allergies and headaches in a carpet free environment. However I have 2 pricey collector carpets that I purchased in 1990 and they are being ruined by my housekeepers daily sweepings. So it was off to the vacuum store once again.

Besides the ridiculous tariffs and labor laws that drive up the purchase prices, the quality is a nightmare. The cheesiest sell for the equivalent of 100 to 300USD. Therefore, I will do what many of us do, we wait until our next trip to the US and smuggle as much consumer stuff as we can in our luggage. This time, I will be disguising a super quality Oreck cordless electric broom (99USD) as kilos of cocaine. This way I will have much less chance of being caught bringing contraband into Brazil.

The real reason I named this blog entry as I did is because just a while back my son and I sold our European vacuums for pittances because they were useless in Brazil. Voltage differences you know. Expats, poor us, are forced to dump all of our electric appliances at every move. Microwaves, blenders, toasters, lamps, telephones, hair dryers, ceramic irons, clothes irons, fax machines etc etc, all the stuff we Americans can't live without.

I have attempted to reduce my life expectations. Since I left Portugal I have not replaced my toaster and we have exactly one miserable lamp in the house. . . . . Just in case we move back to Europe.

The miserable lamp! Note where we used cellophane tape to place the control switch on the support. It was designed to be a floor control but they failed to use a foot switch. Our arms just didn't reach to the floor to move the finger switch.


bebelove said...

that arm is so creepy! maybe you could hang it the other way, fingers up!

i wish i could visit, its almost been a year :(

Riorose said...

The commandante hates it too. I think he has become accustomed to it though because he stopped complaining about it.

Riorose said...

yes, I wish you could visit also. We might be in Europe by the time we all get it together, though. That is OK, I think Europe will offer me more than Brazil.