Monday, 6 February 2012

Last night was a very interesting night- there was a power outage, and my home was left without electricity.

Things were normal before that, we had just finished our dinner, and I was reading a book while waiting for the rest of my family to come out so we can continue watching the movie that we had paused so we could eat dinner.

Then, out of the blue, everything went off- the lights, the TV, the fan. I was thrown into sudden darkness. Not completely dark because it never is completely dark in Subang, and also because not all houses were affected.


Further investigation revealed that only six houses on our road were affected. SIX! Out of probably 15 to 20 houses. And ours were one of the unfortunate ones. I was crushed- there were so many things I was planning to do that required electricity- copying DVDs into my laptop (need to transfer to the desktop first), reading news (need the Internet), finishing the movie (need the TV).

So out came the candles and torchlights, and we prepared for the darkness. I was then reminded of similar power outages of when I was younger. Back then, we didn't have much to do, so power outages would be a great time to walk around the neighbourhood, or just to play simple games at home.

Which was what I did yesterday. I reacquainted myself with a few card games (all very fun), and also played the five stones game. I would assume that if there were kids around, it would be a challenge to see who has better skills, but in yesterday's case, where I played against Mum, it became a test of who was rustier, which at times produced some rather amusing moments. It was actually a very fun time, as without electricity the activities available to me became limited, and so I did not have to feel like I'm missing out on something or am wasting my time.


And that got me thinking of how life was like in the past when my forefathers lived with minimal or no electricity. I can imagine why kids would play games with each other using anything they can find outdoors, and how the adults would sit around and chit chat, or to walk around the neighbourhood, or to mingle with the neighbours (which we didn't do last night). Not to mention, turning into bed early, which I couldn't do last night as it was swelteringly hot. I probably only fell asleep once the electricity came back on, which took about five hours.

I couldn't blame anyone of course, not even the electricians, because it was raining at that time, and they were putting their lives at risk by coming out to see what's wrong anyway. In the end, though, I was extremely grateful that they got it all sorted out and I could finally get some sleep.

But back to before the problem was fixed.  I even managed to finish reading a book that I was rereading at the time (thanks to a very handy reading light). And listen to Mozart (good thing my laptop was charged). I also confessed to my family about how when I was in primary school I would LOVE power outages because that would mean I did not have to do my homework, and I can play, and if it lasted until I went to bed, teachers cannot blame me for it the next day. Of course this only happened about once or twice.


I wasn't too happy about not being able to do more with my time, as it was my penultimate night till I leave for Melbourne again, so I was hoping to get more done, which in the end got pushed to today.


Last night also reminded me of something I read about sometime ago (probably a year ago) about solar flares that could potentially cripple electricity supply and all our communications services. For one thing, I wouldn't know what I would do the spend the time if such an event occurred- probably sleeping a lot.

Tomorrow, I shall be flying back to Melbourne to begin my final year as an undergraduate. Hopefully I will enjoy it as much as college seniors do in the movies!
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