Thursday, 28 November 2013
Health & Safety...forget it!
I remember the old house we rented in Goreme, Cappadocia, where I couldn't use more than one appliance at a time without blowing a fuse...or blowing something up. I discovered this the hard way when I had my washing machine running and switched on the oven...and the oven literally exploded.. a huge bang and smoke coming out of it. When I moved it away from the wall it was impossible to remove the plug because it had melted and was firmly fixed to the socket.
And of course we have lots of power cuts. Today the electricity went off around midday and I thought nothing of it. So I carried on as usual doing everything I would normally do that doesn't need a power supply. At around 4.30pm I popped out to see Mr A who was working at the back of the house and asked him if he had any idea when the power would be back on. He phoned the Muhtar to check. There hadn't been a power cut at all. It was just our house that was without electricity.
Mr A phoned Aydem, the electricity supply company for this area, and reported it. They said they would send someone out as soon as possible.
Patience is not one of Mr A's virtues, and in the meantime he phoned an "electrician" friend. You might wonder why I have put electrician in inverted commas. It's simply because it's difficult to find a fully qualified electrician in these parts. There are men who call themselves electricians, but really they just dabble with electrics and have been lucky enough not to have given themselves a shock...so far.
By the time Mr A was deep in conversation with this man it was getting dark. Mr A asked me to shine the torch on the fusebox while he was on the phone. He opened the box and with instructions from the other end of the phone, started prodding about with a screwdriver. I wasn't happy about this, although I should be used to it by now, because it's not the first time he has fiddled about with electrical wiring (he'll be calling himself an electrician before long). I suggested he trip the switches before he did anything else just in case there was a live wire somewhere. Not necessary he said...the "electrician" said it would be fine. What's the number for the ambulance service, I asked, just in case I need it.
Fortunately he couldn't find the problem, so finished the phone call, closed the fusebox and set off to the teahouse to wait for the "real" electrician from Aydem.
By now it was pitch black, so I lit candles and got into bed to keep warm. I could just about read a book by candlelight and it brought back memories of when I used to stay with my grandmother in her old cottage which had no electricity, just gas mantles downstairs, and candles upstairs. My grandparents managed very well for years without electricity. How times change...we're lost without it these days.
Finally the electrician arrived at about 6.30pm and discovered a loose wire outside the house, possibly damaged by the storm a week ago, and within 5 minutes it was fixed and power restored.