Lights Out

15 May

Yesterday evening at around 6, our electricity went out. Not too serious we thought, it had cooled down to a balmy 35C by that time and we could manage sitting outside around the pool for an hour or two until all was sorted out. We soon discovered that we also had no running water but still we did not panic. We opened up all the windows for Luka as he  needed to go to bed and bathed him in a small puddle of cold water collected in the bottom of the bath.

He happily drifted away with a bottle of cold milk and fell asleep despite the heat. The group of neighbours around the pool grew as the hours passed. We discussed loads of very important things like how we are going to organise a biathlon around the compound running between the 16 pools and swimming a length across each one and whether or not it would be safe to add a drinking component with the barman doubling up as lifeguard. All this whilst hovering just above the ground as the mosquitos tried to carry us away. And you thought our minds were being underused in the desert…never!

Well. 10:30pm came and went and still nothing. We bade one another goodnight and Olaf and I started carrying our bedding and baby downstairs. We decided that upstairs was just too hot and with the doors open downstairs we may just get some shut-eye. As soon as we had everything ready for a night on the lounge floor, the electricity came back on. With a quiet high-five between us and smiles on our faces we took everything back upstairs again.

 And then it went off again so we sat and waited before doing it once more. In the end the electricity returned and thankfully we all got a decent night’s sleep.

“Well thank goodness that problem got fixed”, I commented in the morning, “imagine having to do an entire day with 45C heat and no aircon!” By 6:15am we were energy and waterless once again and so started a day without aircon. I was feeling rather concerned that we might be dead by the time Olaf returned home from work. 

Fortunately the house was cool as we had all the aircons on all night, just in case. I drew all the curtains to keep the heat out or at least create the illusion of coolness and Luka and I set off for our morning walk. There was a steady stream of cars leaving the compound as the women went off to friends in other compounds or to a shopping mall to keep cool. Not being a big fan of shopping or malls, I was not sure what would be worse, death by heat exhaustion or death by irritated toddler in mall after 6 hours. I opted for the first as I thought it might be quicker.

I am pleased to say that we did indeed survive and all services to our area of the compound were restored by midday so it wasn’t so bad after all. The middle section of villa’s have not had electricity for 24 hours now and when I walked past there tonight, not even flickering candle light could be seen in any of the windows. Most people in that section are staying with friends overnight or have booked into a hotel. Who can blame them, this kind of heat for an extended period, will drive you crazy. 

Well, at least the gym was quiet tonight.


One Response to “Lights Out”

  1. Brigitte May 18, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Hi pips , it is with great joy that i am reading your story’s.i think you will need to write a book some time as your story’s are always extremely fascinating to read . lots of love Brigitte

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