Monday, September 6, 2010

A late night stroll

So I just had an adventure. Denise and I are on campus, as she has to study late (I suspect this might be a regular occurrence). I went into town, maybe a 7 minute walk, to buy electricity from the local store (the 7-11 that isn't a 711). As I walked past the security gate and down the street, suddenly all the streetlights and houselights went out. I returned to the front gate, because walking around in the dark seemed a little too sketchy. The campus, meanwhile, didn't notice, as they have an obscene generator. When the lights turned back on, I headed for the store, and approached the counter with rice and cheese. The counter is where you request electricity.

As I put my products on the counter, suddenly all the lights go out. The cashier calmly takes out a portable lamp, and takes my order on the computer that is somehow still running. I sheepishly ask if it is still possible to buy electricity, to which she replies "yes" as if I was stupid. I bought 50 EC worth and left.

I felt elated. I didn't share this with the cashier, whom I suspect wouldn't appreciate it all that much, but I was able to buy electricity in a power outage. The irony lifted my soul.

On the walk back, the street lights were still out. As I passed a section of the street where the lights of Ross were blocked, I chanced to look up. There I saw the greatest amount of stars I have ever seen. I had thought that the stars on this island would be more numerous than Vancouver, but they really haven't.

Not during a blackout though. They were magnificent.


  1. I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of buying electricity along with grocery. Sci-fi!!!
    And yes, irony makes life worth living.

  2. I don't get the buying electricity thing

  3. Electricity here is pay as you go. So you buy a certain amount of units of electricity (one unit equals roughly 40 cents Cdn) from a grocery store, and they give you a corresponding code. When you get home, you enter the code into a little machine that looks like a security panel, and it tells you how many units are left, topping up after the code is entered. Using air conditioning, we'll use between 10 and 15 units of electricity a day, so about once a week we buy more electricity.

  4. aw, you mean they don't sell electricity in bottles?