Dark WIFI Belt Failure rattles Explosive Dryer

«It was a dark and stormy night.»  [The sun had set and it was raining.] Although I had been sleeping, the sound of thunder and the effect of jet-lag had resulted in an awakening. It was dark. I wanted – no, I “needed” a drink of water. But: it was dark. I couldn’t see anything. The Geneva apartment, while small was also cluttered. (I tend to be less ‘neat’ when Nazy is 5000 miles away.) Gingerly I arose, put my arms in front of me and stepped in the direction of the ‘kitchen’. I stubbed my toe on the bed post, stumbled into my suitcase and sat down awkwardly (and heavily) on an end-table that couldn’t take the strain. I crawled back to the bed, located my iPhone and turned on the “flashlight” application.

Let there be light,” I thought. Biblically, The iPhone illumination was limited and generated considerably less light than the Big Bang. I expected this result because I was using the ‘free’ version of the app: the ‘paid’ version would have been brighter. I made it to the refrigerator, opened the door and enjoyed a flood of comparatively bight light. I got a bottle of San Pellegrino (bubbly) water and maneuvered back to the bed.

I need a nightlight,” I thought as I drifted back to sleep.

Before shopping the next day, I consulted Google Translate. “Night Light” turned out to be
léger nuit. (Or so I thought. It turns out that Google Translate differentiates between “night light” and “nightlight”.) The correct translation (perhaps) is veilleuse. Unable to pronounce either of the options (and equally unable to find a sales person who “knew” nightlights), I considered alternatives:

A Canon printer with a WiFi capability has a nifty blue light that will meet my night time visibility needs and, simultaneously, print beautiful photos of Geneva to share with my friends and family,” I thought.

“You are thinking like Nazy.” My (thrifty) conscience muttered.

Excuse me.” I thought as I walked into an electronics store.

“A WiFi printer is a very expensive nightlight solution,” my (annoying) conscience continued.

It’s not expensive. It’s a multi-function nightlight. A heavy multifunction nightlight,” I thought as a lugged it toward the apartment.

I am happy to report that the printer functions perfectly in nightlight mode.

Reader Interrupt: Why haven’t you shared some of your beautiful photos of Geneva?

Answer: I am waiting for a sunny day. And while on the topic of sun, let’s flashback to Santa Barbara - while we were packing.


“A red
belt,” Nazy said, “is not professional. This belt is reversible.” Nazy began to detach the buckle.

“Do not touch it!” I exclaimed.

“What’s the matter with you?”

“I have been wearing belts for years - decades and...”

“Millennia?” Nazy interrupted.

better red and black

“Every time I remove the buckle, the belt dies. You’ll kill the belt if you unfasten the buckle.”

“A red
belt is as good as dead, Dan.”

“It will not work when you click it back together. It will..”

“This is a high quality belt, Dan.
I bought it for you. And I will fix to be professionally black. It will work.”

It will not work.” I thought. (And I knew.) “Thank you,” I said.

End Flashback

“And so, Jose,” I said with an expansive gesture. My belt failed and the buckle clattered to the ground. “I knew this was going to happen,” I thought as I added ‘belt’ to my mental shopping list. “Did your wife give you that?” Jose asked.

At the belt store, I remembered Nazy’s comment, so I decided on something debonair and suavely professional. I knew that my jeans belt wouldn’t do .. it didn’t fit through the belt loops of my suits. I found the
belt I wanted:

debonair belt

While we were packing for my trip, Nazy and I agreed that I would carry two week’s worth of underwear. (Isn’t that a clever transition from belt to underwear?) My second week in Geneva was coming to an end. The dilemma was obvious: buy new underwear or figure out how to use the washing machine.

Alternatively, I could follow Darius’ example. (He didn’t know the difference between a dry cleaner and a laundry. Have you ever dry-cleaned your socks?)

I located the (shared) laundry on a random floor of the apartment. (In Zurich, they always put the laundry in the basement.) A sign informed me that the laundry could only be used between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM. Moreover, this rule was ‘strictly enforced”.

I wonder how they do that,” I thought as the lights in the laundry room went out. I looked at my watch (8:01PM) and decided to try the next day. Unfortunately, I had forgotten how long European washing machines take to finish. So, at when the washing machine stopped at 7:58PM. I knew it wasn’t going possible to use the dryer. I carried a load of damp (well, ‘wet&rsquoWinking socks and blue jeans upstairs. The sign on the dryer (“risk of explosion” if I did, well, eh, ‘something’ wrong) facilitated the decision.

warning label

I’ll dry stuff on the shower curtain rod overnight,” I thought. I tuned in CNN.

Aside: The TV is smaller than Nazy’s iMac and the only useful (i.e. English) channels are BBC Prime (reruns), MSNBC (business) and CNN (repeats itself after an hour). Luckily, I hadn’t watched CNN for about 24 hours.

As I settled into Quest Means Business, the shower curtain rod crashed into the bathtub. Either the spring-loaded mechanism that held it in place had failed or the damp socks had overwhelmed the friction that normally kept the mechanism stabilized. I considered my options:

  1. I could buy a new shower curtain rod. (No good, the shops were closed.)

  2. I could reinstall the rod and hope for the best. (That didn’t work.)

  3. I could scratch-up the tiles to which the rod was affixed in hopes of increasing the coefficient of friction. (I would pay damages when I left the apartment.)

  4. I could use the hair dryer. (I didn’t have one.)

  5. I could ..

Darius called while I was considering my options. His suggestion:

“Claim stupidity, Dad. They’ll believe that for sure.”

“Thanks, Dar.”

“You’re new, you didn’t know. Just use the dryer in the off-hours. What can they do?”

“That sounds like a typical Lebanese solution,” I replied. “But they’ve already thought of that Darius.” (The electricity cut-off came to mind.)

I asked Darius how things were going.

“I’m buried in Bach,” Darius replied alliteratively “The AUB Choir is performing Bach’s Passion of St. John this week and we’re in the middle of rehearsals and dress rehearsals. I don’t have time for anything else. I’m so immersed in Bach that I can’t enjoy any other music. I don’t have time to prepare for my classes, my research is delayed.”


“This concert is a big deal, Dad. One of the soloists (
Megan Marino) is performing at the Met next week. I am in the chorus, one of six tenors, and I’m standing next to the President of AUB.”

“That’s exciting.”

“I hope I don’t come in to early and solo.”

“Have you done that?”


And, finally, it was a sunny day (well, a sunny afternoon) in Geneva

Geneva Jet (first nice day)

blog comments powered by Disqus