For a good time, I’ve been reading the manual to the combo washer/dryer machine in my apartment’s kitchen.  This allows me to both do my laundry and to keep the Frenchman who’s developed a crush on me at bay this evening.  Reading manuals in French is not exactly a fun way to learn the language.  Google’s online translator is decent and handy; you can type in whole paragraphs of text instead of flipping through a dictionary for each individual word.  First, I had to determine which of the three boxes of laundry stuff was actually soap and not bleach.  (Tally:  one box detergent, one box bleach, one box buildup remover)  That took about 15 minutes.  Then, on to the manual.  Why is it that all instruction manuals I get in the States are in at least three languages, but the ones I have here are 100% French only?  Sigh.  I put the detergent in and was horrified that the machine started on the dry cycle.  I could only envision myself being stuck for thousands of dollars with fried detergent on the drum.  Finally figured out the wash cycle after a half hour, but then it was time to dry.  I was pleased when I scanned a little and found the word “ouvert” in a paragraph.  I guessed (correctly) that this might tell me why the door wouldn’t open.  My French is improving, though I do think their appliances are strange.  They require you to press buttons repeatedly and hold them, which isn’t user-friendly at all.  This is also how I approach the range top … just keep pressing the buttons and holding them, and at some point, the stupid thing will turn on.  The dishwasher was easy; but the rest have been rather painful.  I should add, lest you think I am a moron, that there are no manual knobs.  Everything is electronic, with symbols that are not universal and words in French if there are any.  I am laughing at how thorough the instructions are.  They actually tell you to put the linens in, add detergent and then at the end to remove the linens and fold them, 🙂