Sunday, 29 December 2013

LEC and water blues

The LEC has been going on and off on a schedule for the past few days: 11 AM to 5 PM and, 7:30 PM to midnight. It is what we call "load shedding" in Pakistan. 

Today, the LEC broke with this schedule and, it is really nice to be sitting at home without the hum of the generator. Let's hope it doesn't go off in the evening, too. I wonder which Sunday movie is going to be on tonight on M-NET 1.

It goes without saying that one spends a lot of one's time worrying, stressing and, thinking about electricity and water:
  • Is the LEC on? How many units do we still have? 
  • Is that a power surge? Switch everything OFF!!! 
  • Turn on the generator! Turn off the AC first. 
  • Please make me a cup of tea but turn off one of the ACs since we can't turn the kettle on at the same time while the generator is on.
  • Is the LEC still out? Oh my God, I can't stand the generator hum. F*** the LEC! I hate this place. What am I doing in this godforsaken place?
  • Don't forget to service the generator this weekend.
  • No, we can't turn on the microwave; we are on generator. 
  • The LEC is back!  Switch the breaker back to the LEC. Oh my God, the breaker just burnt. It's Christmas tomorrow. Where will we find an electrician on Christmas day?
  • Here is $ 20.00 and please go and re-fuel the generator. 
  • Why is the generator not coming on? Go and, get a technician from Hi-Tech. Why do I need to change all those parts. Make sure you test the generator before you pay him.
  • Patience, create a separate file for LEC.
And, here are some memorable moments concerning water which like electricity you don't even think about in other countries:
  • Haresh, I had a dream about LWS and I was cursing them.
  • For 2 years, we haven't had running water in our pipes. 
  • Guess what, Master Trading folks told me that they asked LWS to cut off the building's line because they keep coming up with bogus bills. But I wish they had asked the rest of the tenants. 
  • Christiana is saying the water level is low so we must call the water truck, Haresh. 
  • Farzana, please give $ 20.00 to Emmanuel so he can give it to Christiana at the house for the water truck.
  • Haresh, it's 7 PM and the water truck still hasn't come round. 
  • Farzana, let's just buy gallons of water for tonight because Hussein is not answering his phone.
  • Please turn off the water heater before you turn on the generator.
  • At least we can harvest rain water during the rainy season and, not have to spend friggin' $ 20 every week on water.
  • Haresh, look, the ceiling is leaking from all the rain. Remember when you were securing the outdoor AC unit and, you guys dug too deep?
  • Yuck, this water is so muddy.
  • "Haresh, please put some Dettol in the bathwater." "Farzana, No, it burns my eyes."
  • Haresh, look those friggin' neighbour's tanks are again leaking all over the place.
  • I am so used to bucket showers now.
  • Friend: "When I first came to Monrovia, I used to check in to the Kendeja just to take a hot shower."
I fully appreciate that for people who are not as fortunate as me, their day to day efforts to get access to electricity and water are very very different.

1 comment:

  1. 21 Jan 2014

    So, last night, our LEC pre-paid meter started acting funny. It showed 11 units which with all our appliances would be consumed in no time. I started cursing myself and my staff for not re-charging the meter. I woke up Haresh to go and check whether we have enough fuel in the back up generator. He went and checked and went back to sleep. I kept pacing the apartment and, started studying the LEC chart. I woke up Haresh again and, asked him to study it. He says, it all makes sense and nothing is wrong. I turned off all the unnecessary lights and, then when the units had gone down to 7, I decided to turn on the generator rather than wait to go out of power. I went into the balcony and tried to turn it on using the start-up ignition. It wouldn't start! Haresh woke up again and went upstairs to check. He gave up and we called our generator technician and, luckily, he agreed to come over at 11 PM. Meanwhile, I go and check the meter again and, see it is at 70 units! I wake up Haresh again and, he goes to check and, indeed my mind was not playing tricks. We turn all the ACs on at full blast. Haresh decided to give up sleep and starts to play online chess while Kavita starts to attack all my bookshelves again. The generator mechanic comes over and repairs the faulty machine. We test it and, pay him $ 20 for his midnight services. The LEC is on and, we never had to use the generator. I end the evening by throwing up.