Saturday, July 25, 2009

Things I learned while living without electricity.

All grueling 8 hours of it.

Please, learn from my mistakes. Since I obviously can't.

  • Always have hot coffee in a thermos, because even a scheduled electrical interruption in South Africa means that you will be notified approximately 2 minutes before the power is cut off, or possibly slightly after. Via email. And even if you should receive notice a whopping 10 minutes prior to the outage you probably cannot cope with the stress of both making the coffee and finding the thermos. So keep one handy, i.e. not in the guest room linen closet behind the camping equipment.
  • Not being able to access the interwebs might make you twitch in a really scary way. Don't worry. These involuntary movements are completely normal withdrawal symptoms. You don't need to call a doctor right then and there. You might, however, benefit from meeting some sort of an addiction specialist later on.
  • Keep the key to the electrical gate somewhere where you can easily locate it should you wish to leave your domicile whilst the power is out. While the light on the remote still works since the remote is powered by a tiny battery, the gate won't respond to any amount of frantic pushing of the remote-button no matter how hard you keep pounding it.
  • Buy some canned food that does not require heating up. When grocery shopping get some cans of  tuna. What kind of a person does not stock at least a can of tuna in her house? Puleeze.
  • Teach yourself to enjoy cold minestrone. Or just remember the tuna. 
  • When electricity goes, so does all heating. Go ahead and put on that coat right away, and don't embarrass yourself by calling the Hubs at work to tell him there's something wrong with the radiator.
  • Hot tea is also out of the question. Unless you feel like starting a fire to boil the water. Which you shouldn't, since you really look better with eyebrows. Stay away from fire.
  • Teach yourself to open the garage door manually. That way 'driving to the mall to get a latte' does not have to become an expedition taking several hours. If you can find the key to the electrical gate, that is.
But most of all
  • use the time wisely and really get into that awesome Umberto Eco book and take those photos in the back yard and in the house you have been planning for weeks now. The light is awesome. Use it!

Even if the photos turn out like this.

It can still be an awesome day, regardless of all of your  neighbors now thinking of you as the crazy lady who likes to drive up and down her driveway. No, that is not a euphemism.

Okay. Yah. Lately, these are getting a little lame, so I'm taking tomorrow off and going analog. Yup.
Have a good weekend everyone and I'll see you on Monday!


Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Have a lovely analog weekend now that you can get out of your house and the elctrical gate. And not just drive on the driveway.

Tyson Trepidatious said...

Lol that was awesome :) I have a blue hose ;) I think ur posts are so creative and very interesting to read :)

BardSpeaks said...

hahaha! Love your sense of humour!

Amysthoughts said...

Lol, sure they may be lame but they make me laugh. Thats all that matters.
And I can relate to getting a scary twitch when the internet isnt constantly available.

Keep it up :-)

Anonymous said...

Living in the middle East means you are NEVER told when the power will go off and that means no AC. When it is 45degrees and you are sweating so much you can't hold a book it is not a pretty sight! Ooops, the workers drilled through a cable AGAIN

Sarah said...

haha i can relate to the above comment. i vacation every summer in the middle east which means three months of involuntary twitching when our stolen internet connection decides not to work.

clairedulalune said...

Hehehe! Your a funny blogger! I know, who wouldn't have tuna in the house?! Has to be done!

kristine said...

me too! all of it! (AND I have an electrical gate - like you, i guess? I sometimes have to climb over it to get to work on time, goody two shoes that I am). I do have tuna though. Tons. I always buy some in case of a hurricane. If we do have a hurricane, I will have to eat some serious amounts of tuna.

LordLynxx said...

No internet or computer... Sounds scary. In case of power outage, always keep chips and coke around. They keep body fat high until interwebs comes back. :D

Recessionista Genie said...

Haha! This reminds me of when I was staying in Rome, and there were unexpected, lengthy power outages every couple of weeks.

One thing that saved me was a gas oven that could be lit with a match. Plus a stove-top espresso maker. We even used the gas stove flames to heat the apartment in the dead of winter... probably not a good idea if you don't have good ventilation, though.

Cyndy said...

I still have rooms in our home that do not have electricity save the glaring overhead light. WiFi saves the day (and MacBook makes nice night light running off battery). Many wonder just how do we do it. Then I hear the clip clop of the Amish buggies riding by on their way to their totally wireless (in the true sense) homes and think I've got it pretty good.

Have a wonderful time going analog.

lyndseywiley said...

Oooh, Almost 2 years ago, I lived in Northwest Oregon with my two children (4 and 2 at the time) plus prego with number three while my husband was in Korea for a year, courtesy of the US Air Force. We had a horrible windstorm which blew the power out for FIVE days... I was in complete HELL. Now every time the lights flicker, I get super panicky. I don't envy you. Thankfully no electric gates here- not much worth protecting :o). Lovin' the trip down memory lane- just not the memories!

spudballoo said...

Oh I so feel your pain...we've had 3 days recently without power, plus 2 periods of no internet on top of that. Just the pits. But at least we don't have electric gates so I could exit the property without drama.

Hope normal service will be resumed soon....

Georgie K. Buttons said...

My neighbors thought I was nuts when I kept pulling in and out of my driveway two days ago-they thought I couldn't get it into the right gear. In reality I was trying to get the car onto the grass without crushing the flowers, smashing the gate, or banging into the pine tree so I could wash the darn thing. :)

Ketan said...

Oh, I loved the post! Funny!

monica said...

Haha...i can understand that helpless feeling,that "i'll be in a better position next time" and yet it's probably same or worse.


Hey I'm followin' you, make sure to check out my blog and follow me too please. thanx

B said...

Well, now you know! Did you get the tuna yet?
Enjoy your analog weekend, but come back soon!

berfin said...

Dear Extrangera,

In my childhood I remember not having electricity for a month. That was in the south of Turkey. And I am writing to you now to say that you can even enjoy it because what this lack does is to bring people together. I hope that you have good people around there..
I have discoovered your blog 2 weeks ago or so and liked it and added to my blog home page favorites you can find yourself there. Mine is

iasa said...

heh, we have the opposite problem here when the current goes out. You are gonna get hot, hot immediately, the neighbors will laugh at you when you go out to play in the garden hose in the middle of the night to cool off, then your boyfriend will kick you out of your own bed cuz 'you're foken wet iasa, and not in no good way'

Linda Wood said...

Very funny! I can see myself doing all the same things! Although it has been a while since we had a power outtage in our Sydney home.


Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

I'm not feeling overly clever as I have just discovered my clothes are not in fact shrinking. Therefore, I have decided to stop by and feel better about my situation as I knew you would have some wonderful Lucille Ball type scheme or mishap. As luck would have it, a power outage was just the thing. I have tagged you in a post for a Queen of all award. Please don't feel obligated to follow up with the chain letter-esque sequence unless it sounds like fun.

Extranjera said...

VEG - I wasn't doing it for fun. i really wasn't...

TT - Thanks. I have a green one. As you can see. Isn't it awesome?

Bardspeaks - Thanks. I like them pats on the back.

Amy - Thanks. Twitch all better now, and won't even think about it now, since there's connection.

ED - They try to tell you here, when the outage is scheduled, which i think is nice, but I still wish they would get to it a little sooner... When someone just steals the cables, which is what usually happens here in the sticks of greater Joburg, no one tells us nothing, but I appreciate their effort.

Sarah - This here connection in SA is actually pretty good compared to some others we've had to survive with. Sadly.

Claire - A horrible oversight on my part, which has now however on my list of things to be rectified. Which means that it still probably won't happen.

Kristine - I too had hurricane tuna is the US. I wonder what happened to it. Did I eat it? I hope so. This time I should really have outage tuna. What's wrong with me for having none? Don't answer.

LL - Chips and coke and keeping them around are not friends in this house. here it's more like chips in my stomach before I get home from buying them.

Recessionista Genie - That's what we would do in Mx, but here we're woefully stuck with an electrical stove and oven...

Cyndy - Yup. Don't envy the amish, even if they have good cheese. and get to wear funky retro outfits without buttons (the women).

Lyndsey - Wow. Don't envy you either. That sounds harsh. It does.

Spud - I feel your pain. Here still not back to normal, as now they've thrown in some riots just for the heck of it.

Georgie - Little nuts is only a good thing (I think I already told you that. Did I?) Deja Vu?

Ketan - Thanks!

Monica - Yup. I seem to not really learn from my mistakes. Ever.

Maryam - great. is that how it works?

B - Tuna's on the list. I actually wrote it down. Somewhere.

Berfin - Thanks. However, in this case I got stuck behind an electrical gate, while everyone I know was on the other side of it, so...

iasa - Yup. It's no good when you're the wrong wet. No one likes that.

Linda - Thanks. I think I need some sort of emergency procedure for when things like this happen.

Robin - Thanks so much. My clothes never shrink either, unless they shrink enough to fit the neighbor's pug (as you well know). However, i think someone keeps replacing them while I sleep. have you thought about that?

I will not admit defeat, you bastard clothes-fairy.

Cyndy said...

Wow!! You could spend a whole day just answering to your comments! But it is always great to hear your second thoughts, like getting second helpings to a great dessert!!

Extranjera said...

Cyndy - Are you calling me fancy-ass jello or possibly custard (gasp, not to mention 'tart')? because I don't know how I feel about that.


Cyndy said...

The Queen of Tarts, dah-ling!

So, what color are we today? Most people talk about the weather, but you make it oh so interesting!

Extranjera said...

Cyndy - So I have tart underlings whom I can reign over. Dude, awesome!

Color's back to normal and eye has resumed it's bluish tint, and is just sore. Other than that stiffness continues, but no pain... Dunno what's going on.
Considering actual doctor visit so long as he doesn't touch me.

Ajab Boparai said...

lol...loved it! d pic, especially... :D