Wednesday, September 11

The Moment You Realise the Importance of Electricity

It is not fun to be in the dark in the middle of the jungle.
Most of you in the city have probably never experienced an extended period without electricity. Even then, the store is just a short drive away for flash-lights & candles.

I work in the middle of the jungle. I stay in the quarters at school. We do not have power cables providing us with a steady supply of electricity. We have 24 hours electricity from ageing diesel generators which can break down at any moment & they do break down every once in a while. Notice I said ONCE IN A WHILE; not once in a blue moon. The generator does break down every few months.

When the electricity goes, everything goes. The water pump cannot run. No water to the pipes means walking to the river nearby for bathing & washing. A full pail of water to be carried all the way up to my flat in case of 'emergencies'.
And cooking. Oh gosh. No power for the fridge. No water in the pipes. Cooking will be a wonderfully pleasurable chore. There's nothing on TFC which can prepare me for such moments.

Imagine the heat. Teaching uncomfortable students in ridiculous western formal wear (sweating in said attire is one thing... washing is WORSE!!!). Marking & paper-pushing in a stuffy staffroom.

Imagine the darkness at night. I have nobody to hold... =(
Imagine how bored one can get without electronics / Internet.
Imagine an extended period of all of the above for about a week like my colleagues & students experienced last year.

Today, we had a generator scare as we always have every time there is an unscheduled outage. The generators are old & could break down at any time. The worst part is every time they break down, they get closer & closer to the eventuality of going beyond repair.
When that happens, all hell will break loose. The hungry ghost festival is just over but you haven't seen nothing yet. No offering can appease teachers starved of electricity. Lol.

Fortunately, the staff worked at it & managed to fix it before sunset. And to think I spent the entire afternoon wishing my diarrhoea would return so I could escape a worse fate.

There is a road going by on a hill behind the school. There is wired electricity to a longhouse 1 hour away. Hopefully, some time soon... We'll get wired electricity at SMK Katibas.
But I'm not holding my breath. I've got flashlights & candles ready as well as 101 excuses to bail if things get unbearable.

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