Monday, 11 July 2011

Don't be blasé...

I come from a country where the following things are fairly commonplace

  • power generators are present in most homes to supply electricity when the national electricity providers fails
  • boreholes are dug into affluent premises to ensure steady supply of water, managed by the property owner. Alternatively, (or additionally), most homes have a plastic jerrycan or pot which is used to store water in case of outages
  • lovely homes are protected with tall high fences often topped with broken glass or barbed wire, to prevent intruders with malicious intent from scaling the wall (and sadly prevent any casual passerby from admiring the magnificent building) 
  • schools, where the electricity is not guaranteed and a lot of children pass through school without using computers or any of the modern technology trends, so ubiquitous in the Western world
  • the nightly ritual by the adults in the house to check that all the doors are locked and all the windows are shut, in a bid to protect against thieves

Anyone who stays long enough to have a conversation with me, will know that I am eternally grateful to God for the gift of the Globetrotting Executive lifestyle. I never forget.

But sometimes I take things for granted and forget to apply the skills I have learnt from my childhood.  Creativity. Resiliency. Survival - despite the odds....

Like when the electricity goes off as a result of a storm. When that happened to me recently, I panicked. The house was unnaturally quiet (no TV), it was hot, and I could not use the microwave. I guess I forgot the following - I do have a gas-fired barbeque which I could have used, I can make conversation without the TV, and I do have a backyard with some shade that I could sit in and enjoy the evening.

Like when the water goes off for about 30 minutes due to a burst pipe in the neighbourhood. Again, I panicked and that was when I realised that I do not have a single container for water in the house! I have one red bucket (for mopping) and my water filter in the fridge.

Like checking the doors each night to make sure they are locked. (No matter how safe a neighbourhood is - (gated or not), you really can't be too sure, can you?)

Now, I'm not advocating that everyone should go out and buy a jerry can or a power generator just in case (because thankfully these outages do not happen often in the West), but it is prudent at times not to be naive and blasé about your location.

What if the electricity doesn't come on?
What if the water doesn't come on?
What if I am unable to use my computer?

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