I expected that the issue would be resolved, but found out that the power company, seeing lights on, had decided all was well and went home. We limped along with reduced power, the router cutting in and out as the power we did have ebbed and surged, and the fans likewise springing into life before saying no, it's too hot, can't move. The fridge threw a tantrum and defrosted all contents so that I had to throw out everything. The lift sulked and stayed off. Lights were so dim I may as well have used candles - except that there was no danger from the dim lights of my cats turning into shish-catbab. The air conditioners sat silent on the walls, mocking us as we sweated and drank litres of water to stay hydrated. No fans or air conditioning in 40C heat is no fun.
There were repeated phone calls to the power company by angry residents, the doorman also tried to get things happening. The building owner got involved and much angry shouting ensued. A lawyer was contacted with more shouting. Finally, after several days of misery, the power company came back. For almost seven hours the power was cut while work was carried out. Finally power was restored - the same as it was before.
More angry phone calls, the lawyer stepped in again - I suspect money changed hands - and the next day they tried again. Power was out for five hours, but when restored it worked! Everything was back, fans, air conditioners, fridge, router, and lift (although I am still too scared to use it in case the power is cut again). Yesterday the power went out for five minutes so I'm not convinced all the problems are solved, but at least we are functioning, electrically wise.
How did we pass the time while we waited? While I had charge in my computer I wrote, and read ebooks. When electronic things went flat I drew. Gamer son pulled out his Japanese books and started studying - his school and most of his lessons are online. The time would have passed quite pleasantly, but the heat made things uncomfortable. I believe I have a faulty thermostat as I cannot tolerate continued high temperatures. I develop headaches and feel ill, no matter how much water I drink.
As I struggled to deal with the heat I was reminded of my childhood. In my home we didn't have air conditioners - we didn't even have fans. In the heat of summer, when I was not at school, I would run a cold bath, take my book and sit there for hours (unfortunately in this apartment I have only a shower). Or I would take the dog to the river, find a shallow spot and sit there with my book. At night I remember long sleepless hours, turning the pillow over, and over again, looking for a cool spot. One Christmas my grandmother hung a wet sheet in the doorway, in an attempt to cool the air down.
I hadn't thought about those times for years, not until I was experiencing similar conditions. While frustrating because it has put me behind in my work, certain aspects were enjoyable. It's freeing to know that I cannot do anything else so drawing is not an indulgence. And I am fortunate because for me it was only temporary. Now the power is restored I have air conditioning to protect me from the heat, and fans to circulate the air if the air conditioners are not needed. I have a fridge so that I have a supply of cold drinks and ice. I have water that is safe to drink and I don't need to ration the quantity. There are millions of people in this country who do not.
Just for a week I was inconvenienced, yet there are people who live in worse conditions, people who are dying from heat stroke. It has served as a reminder to me that even though by many standards I am poorer than your average church mouse, in reality I have all that I need. I have a roof over my head, clothes and shoes, food so that I am not hungry, water that is not contaminated, a cooling system so that I can easily cope with the extreme heat. I am fortunate, in all the ways that matter.
This is my drawing - it's entirely black and white because I am experimenting. I plan to colour it in and see how it looks. In the back of my mind there is an idea for a colouring book.