…Appliances and Appurtenances

What is that thing? Foreign houses often have some unusual, to American eyes, objects and doodads in them. Here are a few that are in our house in Dhaka:

What’s the strange whirring noise in the kitchen? Why is there no room in the cupboard under your sink/next to your fridge/etc.? It’s your giant 110v power converter. There’s a fused switch somewhere to turn it on and off, ours happens to share a circuit with the 220v microwave, so there’s a lot of turning on and off. It’s great to have built in to the kitchen for all your American-scaled appliances. It’s not going to run your clocks right, and will still be “hard” on your heating elements, but you can use it for your blenders, etc. It’s just like the little heavy blue ones, but sturdier.

The water distiller, to keep your body free from Giardia and Cholera. Ours is on the laundry porch, because this beast is a heat-making machine. You’re supposed to clean it every 5 gallons. We use 5 gallons nearly every other day. If you don’t clean it, you get bacterial growth. We didn’t clean it. Oops. 3 weeks of being sick.

The ubiquitous squatty potty. Even when they’re clean, they don’t really look it. If you don’t know already, you face towards the water tank, not away. It works best if you’re in a skirt, or male, or naked. The bucket is to hold water and there’s a little cup to rinse yourself off with when you’re done, unless you have a spray hose.

The toilet hose. It’s not quite a bidet, but that’s the general idea. Also useful for washing the floor down, rinsing dirty diapers, etc. Comes in one temperature: hot. Luckily, it takes a few seconds to get hot, so you’re usually safe, just don’t let it run too long.

2 UPS batteries for the computers. Not shown are the voltage regulators, which look pretty much the same, but have a little display on the front reminiscent of 1960’s sci-fi computers.

One of three different dehumidifier styles in our house. This one turns back on after the power goes out. It also beeps to let you know it is full. That happens about 3 times a day now.

The door bell, which wouldn’t be too exciting, except that it’s an ADA doorbell, and will flash its lightbulb when the bell is pressed. If it happens when you are otherwise in the dark, it can be kind of surprising.

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