It all started last night when I came home around midnight, and noticed the lobby suspiciously dark and the elevator out of order. The elevator is frequently out of order, so I dutifully trudged up the ten flights of stairs to my apartment, secretly thanking the gods that Chile uses the American system where the first floor is floor one, not the lobby, because if we were in Spain a) it would have already been six o’clock in the morning, and b) I’d have had to walk up twelve flights of stairs instead of ten to get to my sixth-floor apartment.
As I walked up the stairs, it got progressively darker in the hallways, and a single weak blinky flourescent bulb was doing its best to illuminate, but only in fits and starts when I came to the hallway outside my door. I came in to find the electricity blinky at best, and my modem displaying colors I prefer for cherries, tomato sauce and other cinnabar (but not the poisonous ones) foods to the preferred yellow and green which indicate proper functioning. I went to sleep without checking the internet and woke up to the only thing worse than red lights, which is no lights at all.
Apparently all the rain we’ve had has called some kind of a fryup (fryout? fishfry?) at Chilectra (which I always like to call Chilectrica), and the end result is a building full of people using the stove to heat water (rather than our teteras (electric kettle), as we normally do), bumbling around in the dark, and repeateldy switching lights on as we enter rooms, only to later say, “d’oh!”
So rather dwell on this ridiculous situation of being dependent on the sun and a hundred thousand squirrels running around to power a generator or however they do it down here (doubt they use squirrels, since in fact, there are no squirrels here, which is exemplified by the fact that if you ask people what animal Chip and Dale are, they will tell you squirrels (ardillas), which is clearly not true. I mean, at least if they said prairie dogs (marmotas) I would give them half-credit, as at least they are vaguely the right color), instead of doing that, I have been running around the city like a lunatic all day, eating lunch repeatedly and taking pictures of the postcard perfect day that the world shook out for us today. With apologies to whoever got the short end of the stick, on this, the day before my half birthday! (think I’m too old to care about half-birthdays? Think again!).
Okay, so what’s this about electricity-free Wednesday? Well, there’s all kinds of fabulously wonderful blogs with themed days. There’s Fish Wednesday (I think) on one of my favorites, tons and sundry folk who do photo friday, and all other kinds of alliterative things (including followfriday and traveltuesday on twitter, which are adorable and awww when I’m a part of it, but pretty annoying when not).
I’ve been trying to think of a catchy phrase that’s better than electricity-free Wednesday. There’s miércoles de miseria (which you can figure out), but that’s overkill, it’s really not that bad. There’s where’s-my-lights-Wednesday, but I don’t really miss the lights so much as I miss the internet.
So I submit to you that today, August 19th, 2009 is the day that Chilectrica got googleranked a 1, slightly lower than Telefónica’s 2. And Movistar (my cell company) moved up a rank, to number 3, but that’s only because I went to the commercial office in El Golf where everything is rainbows and butterflies, and sometimes unicorns, but none today because they were off holding up the backdrop, which was truly incredible, mountains and deep snow.
As I left the building tonight (in the dark), I saw a note that they’re going to shut off the water. What’s next? Are they going to shut off the gas? Take away the walls? Something tells me it might be time to look for a new apartment.