Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oh, what a week!

Oh, what a week I have had! I am writing this post on a Sunday night with the lights merrily flickering and the purr of generator floating in from the outside! Why such a loving description? Because I do have electricity and I am happy! I guess the ESCOM people read my last post and decided to show me what real power outages are! This week the power went out every single morning and almost every single night. I pointed out to Mark today that it is a sad state one is in when the silver lining on the cloud of black outs is the availability of gas for sale to put in generator! I had several tests to take this week and to be on a safe side, each time I would plug my internet router into the power inverter I bought for just such an occasion. The little contraption runs from a regular car battery and converts DC power into 220V of AC. I have been known on several occasions to take my test on my laptop by the light of a kerosene lamp! :-)

The week started with a really intense power surge that looked like a nuclear explosion. Our lights became so bright that it was like looking directly at the sun. In our house alone we lost 2 surge protectors, my microwave/convection oven and my wonderful washing machine! That immediately set me off on a hunt for a new washing machine. I am a bit overstating the “hunt” part because there is only one sufficiently equipped store in the whole country that is conveniently located in only 30 miles from us. It is a South African store called Game and is our Wal-Mart’s malnourished distant cousin. But before I could go and get my new baby I had to get the money for it first. Because of the high rate of check fraud the store does not take checks and one has to pay cash. To make matters worse, we were about to embark on a 4 day holiday and the banks would be closed that whole time! After a drive to Zomba, I had the needed cash and was ready to go to the store on the Good Friday. Usually most of the stores are open on public holidays and just simply close at 1 pm. Well, I think Game got the word of me coming and decided to close that day but yet be open on the actual Easter Sunday! Boy, was I in the mood on the way home! I have to pay about $6 a gallon for diesel here and it physically hurts to fill my car! But the next day I finally succeeded and now I have a brand new washing machine! Ahhhh, at last! Whoever said that it is not a good idea to buy your wife an appliance for her birthday or anniversary has obviously not lived in Africa! ;-) I was as excited about that little thing as I would have been over a diamond ring! (Now you guys who read this post! Your wives do not live in Africa so do not try this at home! :-)

Sorry about this bit of a rant! I just had to get it all off my chest and now I feel a whole lot better, even if this may put you in depression! Thank you reading :-)


  1. I heard on the news that Madonna is visiting your area. Maybe she can use her influence to persuade the electric company to provide stable power. I mean who builds schools without making sure there is adequate power? If not, since you are used to doing homework by candlelight and no power, you could teach them the tricks of the trade!!!

  2. Hey, I don't think that buying a wife an appliance is a terrible thing. Especially for an anniversary gift!!!!! LOL!!!!

  3. I always love your blog posts. For someone who had such an experience trying to get a new washer, you seem to be in good spirits. Perhaps because you now have your new washer? :)