Thursday, August 31, 2006

Who's Got the Power?

The power goes out intermittently here, which is no surprise. I’m actually quite pleased that it doesn’t go out more, nor does it stay out for very long. When we lived in Egypt, the power went out much more frequently. I remember many evenings bathing children by candle light.

Heck, during the time we were in Egypt, I witnessed more power outages when I traveled back to ‘civilization’ in Southern California during the summer than I did there. At my home office we were under strict orders not to turn on any unnecessary lights due to rolling black outs. As a telecommuter, the hallway was my office. At the end of my week stay, I suspected I actually had a better time of it in Cairo. At least there I didn’t have to hold papers up to my computer screen in order to read them.

The trick to handling a power outage, any adult will tell you, is to be prepared. I am the most unprepared adult I know.

So, when Rob called to say he was working late on a conference call, I didn’t give it another thought (accept, ‘leftovers again!’). Right when night had fallen and I had one little boy in the bathroom and another littler boy in the kitchen, (opposite sides of the house, of course) the power goes out. Pitch black. That means I didn’t think to plug in and charge the emergency lantern. It also means I have NO HOPE (Wendy, quit snickering) of finding my new Indonesian cell phone. The phone I tossed to my engineer husband the minute I bought it and said ‘here make it ring.’ The phone that as he tinkered with it (see previous posting describing the volt meter) he exclaimed, “Cool! This phone has a flashlight!” To which I promptly thought, “What a geek!” and “Why the hell would anyone put a flashlight in a cell phone?”

The little boys both start the crescendo of high pitched screaming. I am in the bedroom with the baby and Jared, who thank goodness is playing his gameboy. At least someone has a powered up piece of electronics that glows. I grab him by the gameboy holding wrist and we use the light of the screen to find his siblings. Right then the power goes on.

Moral of the story: for at least the next two weeks: 1. I will keep the emergency lantern actually plugged into the socket (the only one of about three I’ve found in this entire place. There is only one in the kitchen. You have to debate which appliance you need most at any given time; microwave, coffee maker, rice cooker, toaster or blender. You just can’t have it all,..) 2. I will know where my cell phone is and I will even have it charged. 3. I too, shall learn to use the flashlight on the phone.

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