My knickers have got me in a twist

During the week, I did some washing. I loaded the washing machine as usual (or so I thought), closed the lid and switched it on. Around half an hour later, I was being treated to a drum’n’bass concert in my living room. Oops, had I accidentally thrown in a belt or a shoe? It seemed unlikely, but then what was that godawful noise??

At the end of the cycle, I approached the washing machine with no small amount of trepidation. Nothing could have prepared me for the sight that greeted me when I opened the lid. I’d heard of knickers getting people in trouble before – y’know, like when they’re found somewhere they shouldn’t be, or when a knicker-sniffer gets his hands on a pair.

What I didn’t realise is that knickers could literally explode. Thread and bits of fabric were strewn all over inside of the washing machine – they hung from the powder holder and the inside of the lid like evil black strands of licorice. Noticing one particularly large clump of fabric clinging wetly to the outside of the drum, I reached down and pulled out my efficiently-shredded pants.

Of course, I now realised what must have happened. A rogue pair of knickers had missed the drum and gone down the side while I was loading the machine. All of the other clothes were now covered in rather artistic little black circles. Only the clothes that had been black to begin with were salvageable. Damn you, rogue knickers.

I cleaned off all the black gunge as well as I could, closed the lid and cut my losses.

Fast forward to today. I was having a nice relaxing time – I’d just got back from the park, where I’d gone to sit and read my book in the sunshine for a while. I decided, perhaps naively, to put on an experimental load of washing. I chose a few bits and pieces that I could live without and pushed the power button. Everything sounded normal, so I breathed a sigh of relief and adjourned to my sofa to get some work done.

At around 6.30, I noticed the water flowing from under the bathroom door and into the hallway. Shit, shit, shit! I opened the door to see that the bath mat was languidly floating around the room. It was at this point that I cursed myself for not getting around to buying a mop and bucket sooner. I threw on a pair of shoes that were now surfing around the hallway, and ran out to Drogas which, thankfully, is open until 7pm on Sundays, even Easter Sunday.

This involved walking past the nearest bar, where all of the local drunk Russians have now taken to sitting in the road drinking as the weather is better. (As it’s a long weekend, the Latvians have fled the city and gone back to the forests, presumably to dance around some trees, or whatever it is they do there.) One of them leered at me and said something in Russian. I gave him the Latvian Death Stare and trotted on.


The car has been replaced by rickety stools with rickety Russians on them. 

His ardour was dampened considerably when Mrs Mop came charging back up the street a few minutes later.

I proceeded to mop and wring furiously, mop and wring, mop and wring. Water was still freely flowing into the hallway. I looked like a total sex goddess with my jeans rolled up to my knees, sloshing about in the ever-rising water in my bare feet. One hour and one full bucket later, things were pretty much under control.

I'm now the proud owner of a mop and bucket.

I’m now the proud owner of a mop and bucket.

If you look closely, you can see a bit of knicker.

If you look closely, you can see a bit of knicker.

I tip-toed over to the washing machine, pulled the lid up, and tried to open the drum. To add insult to injury, the damn thing kept shocking me. With my jeans still around my knees, I pulled my sleeves over my hands, and managed to pop it open.

Now with added knicker

Now with added knicker


So now I sit, with icy feet, a slick floor, a bloody thumb (not sure how that happened), scared of my own washing machine.

Happy Easter to me.

About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Expat, Humor, Humour, Latvia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to My knickers have got me in a twist

  1. Pingback: Will I get a happy ending? | Expat Eye on Latvia

  2. Hello 🙂 PN sent me here – I’m glad he did. This post is very timely – I am seeking a washing machine-savvy negotiator to help me get my undies back. My mother-in-law’s machine has just taken my knickers hostage along with my other clothes, and given up the ghost.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh no! It’s such a nightmare! Mine is still ongoing but I’m hoping maybe there will be a happy ending this week 😉

      • I thumped the machine several times, pulled it’s life support out of the wall and insulted it, then switched it back on. It let me open the top and retrieve my clothes. I think it has been instructed by my mother in law to carry out her revenge – I am here because she is in hospital, and she is very angry with me because I refuse to put my wonder woman knickers over my leggings and save her from the ward. Sigh. If I turn up in my underwear, I’ll probably be kept there too.

      • EEK! not “it’s”, its. Bad girl grammar hair shirt *ON*.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha, your secret’s safe with me! 🙂 Yeah, the underwear over clothes look – your washing machine might be the least of your worries if you walk around like that! 🙂 I found that swearing and hitting the thing didn’t work. So I called a Latvian repair guy – that didn’t work either 😉 (Dramatic sigh)

  3. You had me at “knickers”.

  4. Paul says:

    Hi Linda! Just jaunted over here from One Chicklette’s blog. Very funny story! I’m half Irish (My Grand-Dad and Grand Mom on my father’s side were from County Cork) and am a resident of Canada. The Irish explains my affinity for the drink. You’re lucky to have an in-home washer – I have to journey down the block to the laundrymat. Speaking of total destruction of clothing items, my lady boss came into work in a foul mood one day. As the day wore on and we were having a smoke, I teased the story out of her. Apparently she had just gotten a new kitten and when she got up in the morning couldn’t find the beast anywhere. She didn’t worry too much as it had to be somewhere in her apartment. She opened her bottom drawer to get out some socks and lo and behold,there was the feline criminal. The kitten had gotten into the drawer by squeezing behind the chest of drawers and then climbing up into the drawer. It had then prceeded to completely shred two pairs of fuzzy socks that my boss dearly loved and kept for cold days. And there it lay, sprawled out in the pile of pink fluff that was all that remainded of the items. Needless to say it got a serious tongue lashing and was transplanted to the floor in an un-nice manner. May the socks rest in peace (or pieces). Ha!

    Glad I found your blog and I look forward to more exciting stories of life in Latvia (or Germany or where-ever)

  5. Claire says:

    Oh no!! This may be the worst Easter I’ve ever heard of. You poor thing. And your poor knickers, I hope you gave them a decent funeral.

    • Expat Eye says:

      They had a dignified end in the rubbish bin 😉 It’s still buggered even though the filter has been cleaned. I’ve got a man coming round with a screwdriver later…

  6. Emmi says:

    did you flood your neighbours on the floor underneath you? Last summer I went home to my native Gols and had an accident. I was filling the bathtub, it was only half full, then I went to the kitchen to watch over my cooking. Only a few minutes later I come back and see that the bathroom is full of water up to my ancles. Afraid that I will flood the people living underneath me I searched for a mop in panic but since my mom hid it somewhere I just threw blankets on the floor and soaked up as much as possible. I never imagined that someone would rush to the store to get a mop in this case)) btw how did you survive so long without a mop and a bucket?

    • Expat Eye says:

      I had a sort of cloth thing that I stuck on the end of my sweeping brush 😉 I’m no domestic goddess, trust me! And no, I didn’t flood anyone – I’m on the ground floor, luckily!

  7. Mārtiņš says:

    That’s because you didn’t go to church.

  8. Paul says:

    LINDA! The No1 rule of electrical appliances problems.. TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY! Do not stick a knife in your “live” toaster.. Do not wade in a “live” water spill.

    I suspect the cost of repair will be uneconomical. You can find lots of new conventional front loaders here:
    There is a reasonable choice for under 180 Euros.

    There are also people in Riga who will lift and take your old dead machine away for free. I don’t have the phone number to hand but maybe a local Latvian reader of your blog can assist..

    With all your blog followers, you can maybe cover the cost of a new machine by selling your exploded knickers on ebay.. you can frame them with a title ” I came to Latvia and my knickers exploded!” 🙂

    ps.. I think my original post ended up in your spam folder again 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      It did – wonder why that happened! Ha ha, I love the ebay idea! I seem to be the only one that this has happened to so it’s quite unique! Also, thanks for the link – it might come to that!

  9. bevchen says:

    Self-destructing knickers? Oh dear! Better buy a mop and bucket the minute you arrive in Germany (or bring your new one with you). There will be no emergency dashes to buy such things here on a Sunday… especially not Easter Sunday! However, I’ve never seen a top loading washer in Germany so you may be safe 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      That’s such a relief to hear! I’ve sworn that this will be my last top-loader! And yes, it was bloody lucky I noticed it when I did and that the shops were still open at that time!

  10. I’d guess that some of the exploded knicker parts have made their way to the water filter and clogged it up. Just need to pop that open and pull the bits out. Don’t ask me where it is though 🙂 that’s one of those pesky maker’s manual things that I never read =)

  11. In ninety percent of the places we’ve lived, my spouse and I have had major water disasters, often from washing machines (and never our fault!). In our new place the washing machine blew, and after it was replaced the upstairs bathroom dumped water down the wall to pool at the base of the washing machine, then when that was repaired the kitchen sink and dishwasher both began jetissoning water into the wall… where it leaked toward the washing machine. Someone must have hidden a mystical artifact in the wall behind that thing which attracts water in great quantity.

  12. Anna says:

    Holy crap. I remember when we had that old-style washing machine, but never such scary incidents on record. My solution – drown yourself in vino!

  13. Oh that is the worst! When I was young and doing wash at my moms her washer broke once. The worst of it was that the pipes were frozen so we couldn’t shut the water off. It just kept spraying water! We tried the mainline outside, but it too was stuck and we weren’t strong enough to shut it off. We had to wait for my stepdad to run home, while she and I treaded water for over an hour just to keep what we could out of the house. Flooded almost half of the entire house! Ugh. Hope you get it fixed soon!

  14. linnetmoss says:

    Poor you! I think the machine is out to get you. Is it a Latvian machine by any chance?

  15. It is possessed. Be afraid. LOL

  16. LigaFromRiga says:

    The worst I’ve done is putting a baby’s wet (thank god just wet) nappy in with clothes. Are you totally completely very sure those were just knickers? 😀

  17. Sharn says:

    My last top loader exploded into plastic bits.

    I blame my cat.

    He blames me.

    I walked into the laundry and the lid had somehow ended up inside the drum going round and round and round with my wet clothes, my wet cat was in a corner hissing at the machine and the lid… the lid had exploded and shot plastic pieces all over the room.

    I was still finding shards of lid months later and I had to start using my mosaic tile cutter as the implement to shove in a hole to make sure that the machine worked.

    At least it didn’t shock me.

    I replaced it with a front loader. Now the cat can’t break it. The lil bugger.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh my god! What a disaster! But funny 😉 Yeah, this never would have happened with a front-loader. Stupid machine. Wish I had a cat to blame 😉

  18. CrazyCatLady says:

    Linda! I need your help! Please!
    Expecting a 1/4 Irish child. If all goes well, that is.
    Need heads up about the distinctly inherit Irish traits that no amount of other eclectic DNA will mask. I’m serious!
    I’m hiding all booze to start with, that’s a given 😉 Learning to use the word “auburn” instead of “ginger” (unfortunately that’s not down to light hearted generalisation but an actual risk courtesy of other half’s family).

    Bracing myself … Go!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Strawberry blond is also a thing 😉 Yeah, hide the alcohol. Watch out for the smart mouth 😉 Um, apart from that, I’d say you’re blessed! Pity it’s only a quarter 😉 Congratulations!

  19. angelinahue says:

    Hope that your machine will be resurrected and back in good working order soon!

  20. nancytex2013 says:

    All the more reason to leave the country. Now. 🙂

  21. Liene K says:

    It’s Easter – Latvian tradition says to stick with round things, the whiter the better. Your washing machine is square, hence the problems. This Easter we are sticking to eggs, torte (round) and beer glasses (also round); I suggest you do the same in the future. Sorry the biksīšūdens ruined the day, wishing you priecīgas Lieldienas regardless.

  22. lizard100 says:

    Mrs Doyle it is then! The knickers, the mopping, the glamour, the buckets….. Awesome story!

  23. bmagpub says:

    Just as well you weren’t wearing them when they decided to self destruct and they took out the washing machine. Easter is good time to wash floors anyway. And any time is a good time for wine. Just watch out for the fridge. 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      I’m hoping that the fridge is at a safe enough distance from the washing machine – and hopefully on a different fuse thing, or however that works 😉 I need a man 😉
      And your comment has now made me scared of knickers too – guess I’ll be going commando from now on 😉

      • RuncZ says:

        Nah.. I don’t believe that. You’re just sayin’ it to make us go crazy 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        Is it working? 😉

      • RuncZ says:

        A little bit 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Happy Easter 😉

      • bmagpub says:

        Hope your bloody thumb is ok. Now my imagination is going with “Mrs Doyle”, and the chuckles are coming. If you drop it off to me, I will have a look at it for you. :-). Oh, the household appliances I have repaired. Make me think of all those times my wife lent me out to her friends to help with their computers – used to send me round to “defrag” them. Moral of the story? Could it be “Leave the washing, and drink more wine”. I’m up for that! 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Is ‘defragging’ a thing?! Is this something else I don’t know about? Argh! More wine it is! 😉

      • bmagpub says:

        Short for defragmentation (of hard disks) I think my wife liked to imagine me defragging her friends (and making sure the anti-virals were up to date, etc). Now I’ll be waiting for your next post regarding the shopping trip! Mind you, after some of your stories, I hope the shop doesn’t have changing rooms. On the other hand, could be an interesting read if it did. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        The Latvian Invasion Part 2 😉 Linda Does Leopard Print 🙂

  24. freebutfun says:

    O-oh, what a troubled relationship with a washing machine!

  25. OMG! I’ve never heard of suicide knickers and killer washing machines before, but seems you’ve got one 🙂 Maybe it’s time for some Latvian exorcism seanse, huh? Hopefully you live on the ground floor, otherwise as the long weekend ends you might get an angry Latvian neighbor from downstairs to add to your troubles, so just in case stack some wine for the sake of your nerves and good humor.
    Once I had to tackle washing machine causes flood and I was ever so greatly thankful for living on the ground floor, as I’ve set a full cycle with soaking and was out when a disaster stroke, and had to deal with buckets of water afterwards.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yes, I live on the ground floor thank god! And I also have wine 😉 Never has it tasted so good! And my arms aren’t so sore I can’t lift a glass 😉
      Suicide knickers made me laugh!!

  26. RuncZ says:

    This is why i’m very cautious of leaving a washing machine unattended. I hope you didn’t flood your neighbors.
    And no, we do not dance around trees. Just around campfires occasionally. 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Luckily I’m on the ground floor so the only damage was in my flat! And it’s pretty much OK now 😉 Will have to get someone to look at the washing machine though!
      Don’t you jump over campfires instead!?

      • RuncZ says:

        Yeah, that too… jumping over campfires falls pretty much into the same category.
        Is there a basement? You might have ruined somebody’s junk and soaked a bunch of jars of jam and pickles in ‘knickerwater’ :p

      • Expat Eye says:

        There’s a hobbit-like door on the other side of the building – maybe that leads to a basement? Uh oh… 😉
        Is there a Latvian word for ‘knickerwater’, like ‘corpsewater’ or am I the only person who could manage to do this!?

      • RuncZ says:

        Yeah, most likely it does. Either that or it is a home to some hairy trolls or something.

        I doubt you are the only person who got exploding clothes. My ex once destroyed my hoodie in a very similar manner. But at that time the hoodie was at fault, not the washing machine (for some reason it dissolved in contact with water). And very miraculously the machine survived for years after the incident. Cleaning it was a very nasty business though.

        I don’t know of a word for knickerwater in Latvian (I just made it up because of the whole corpsewater discussion). But since you are semi-famous here, we could make one up for this incident. How does “biksīšūdens” sound? 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        Wow, I’ve never heard of a dissolving hoodie before either! Which lasted longer – the girlfriend or the hoodie?!
        And yes, I like the sound of “biksīšūdens” 🙂 Very much! I’m always making up words in English so it’s about time I started in Latvian! 🙂

      • RuncZ says:

        Girlfriend lasted for four years. Hoodie incident was somewhere within first 6 months. But she didn’t dissolve or anything (as it may seem from this conversation), we had a pretty conventional break-up instead.
        Do you have a go-to guy (or something) for this kind of stuff?

      • Expat Eye says:

        I have a go-to guy, but I might need a specialist washing machine guy! Do you know anyone?
        Glad to hear your gf didn’t dissolve – that would be some clean-up operation 😉

      • RuncZ says:

        No, unfortunately I don’t know of anyone who specializes in washing machines 😦 I guess I have been lucky with those so far.
        Although I imagine that the problem should not be too complicated in this case. It should be just a clogged pipe which led to a broken connection somewhere. So you can surely ask your guy to take a look and perhaps, given enough time, he even might be able to fix it. I know I would. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        I might be giving you a call 😉

      • RuncZ says:

        Damn, I forgot you have my number 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        I have everyone’s number 😉 Well, at least I know I can put out a cry for help on here 😉

  27. Never trust a top loader…!

    Aw, poor you, that doesn’t sound like a fun weekend at all 😦

    On the upside, your knickers have now successfully been pared down into standard Latvian size.

  28. Cindi says:

    Oh NO. Broken washing machines are not allowed. Didn’t it read the contract?

    But on the bright side … your floor is clean? (At least that’s what I tell myself when water gets all over the floor and I have to mop it up.)

  29. Pecora Nera says:

    That’s a fantastic looking washing machine. If it is truly bust just throw in some clothes, powder and stand in it and stamp the washing clean.

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