Life without electricity.

Ever stopped to think how you would survive without electricity? It has been well over 100 years since electricity came to Australia. We rely on it for everything, even to survive.

My wife, who was born in the 1970’s did not have power as a kid. The entire village did not have it. She remembers when the first TV made it to the village and if anyone wanted to watch something on it they had to bring a few coins to help pay for the battery to be recharged.

The difference in upbringings between people of the village and myself could not be more different when it comes to the subject of power.

That is why, when recently, I had to marvel at their response to when the power went off.

I have to admit that I have been very impressed with the power supply to our little village. It is actually more consistent then my home in Australia where we run off Hydro and there are constant outages including almost every time it rains.

With that in mind I was not worried when the power went off one morning. I kept on working on my laptop until the battery went dead before heading downstairs to find out what the problem was. No one knew and to be honest no one, apart from me, really cared. Lunch came and went and I found myself playing a board game with the kids. This is not unusual in itself but it is to be doing it in the middle of the afternoon. Then we went for a walk before coming back home and playing together on our new lawn with my two nieces. Frisbee, football, and takraw. (ตะกร้อ) We were having so much fun that darkness caught us all unawares so the kids ended up having bucket baths outside in the dark.

Thankfully we have gas so cooking was not a problem, just a little difficult doing it under candle light. With no TV or computers the kids were in bed by 7.30pm and the adults only about an hour later! It was a cool night so we slept really well. The village was quiet and even the dogs seemed to sleep better!

Up early the next morning and the power was still off. No worries, we had an extended breakfast picnic outside on the lawn and played for hours with the new puppies. By noon it was getting hot and trying to escape the heat upstairs with no fans or air cons was a pain. It had been almost 36 hours with no power and only then for the first time it was starting to wear a bit thin. That soon changed when the coolness of the afternoon arrived and this time we were organised and got the baths for the kids ready before the sun set.

I think I am quite a patient sort of bloke but another dinner by candlelight and another early night to bed and I was pretty much over it. I question my wife about the power situation and I whinged to my in-laws which they found quite amusing. Not once in the previous two days had I heard them even mention it. Life is life and you simply get on with it. The power will come back on when it is good and ready.

The next morning dawned and I noticed that half the village now had their power back on. My hopes were raised! Sure enough by mid morning, 50 hours since the power first went off it suddenly sprang back to life. I was happy once again.

In conclusion, life without power for the first 36 hours was great. It was so relaxing and so quiet. I spent so much more time with my family and with nature. It really was an excellent thing to happen. However, that seemed to be my limit. After that it became a burden and I started to get crotchety about the whole situation.

I always laugh about this earth hour project. Where millions of dollars on PR are spent to try and get people all around the world to turn the power off for just one hour. I think they should change it to 24 hours and not only will the environment benefit but so will family relationships.

I can’t help wonder though, how many days would have gone by before the village locals may have actually started to wonder what had happened!


11 responses to “Life without electricity.

  1. Great blog, Memock! I frequently go without power by choice when I’m at my farm here in Canada, as I generate it by diesel fuel. I much prefer not relying on electricity and when I’m in TH out in the village I wonder why I need so much power to do the things I need to do back home…except for in winter. Nice to see you blogging again, miss your frequent updates.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for your kind words. Yes the blog front has been a little quiet lately. I ended up working down in South Australia for two weeks and have only just got back. I hope to pick up the pace from now on! What area in Canada is your farm?

  2. Sounds like old times. lol 1969

  3. It was Ubon town that had brown outs. Rented a room in town for a while. First time it happened it was a surprise to have the record player slow down and the light bulb (just one) go really dim. All those bootlegged power taps! Base had it’s own bank of diesel generators for power.

  4. I’ve never experienced a 50 hour power cut in Thailand but three to four hour ones I have on many occasions. Once when we’d just returned from a big shopping trip to Tesco Lotus. My first thought then was my frozen chips are going to be ruined.

    I guess if you’re brought up with these kind of things then they become run of the mill and are taken in your stride. And let’s face it, there’s never a shortage of candles in a Thai household. You’re never going to sit in the dark for too long.

    • What surprised me the most was that my frozen food was all fine after 50 hours with no power! Very true about the candles, they seem to be everywhere!

  5. Hi Memock, feel free to email me about details about my farm!

  6. In the big smoke if the power is interrupted by 10 hrs or more without prior warning the supplier has it written in their service charter to compensate users with an $80 refund. Doesn’t happen too often but it is handy to have gas cooking, candles and torches on hand. And it does make for a better family relationship and early nights. Not sure about 50 hrs though.

    • I would love to see the local Thai power company giving out refunds!! Yes the 50 hours was a little too long but up to the 24 hour mark was quite refreshing.

  7. Pingback: Longest blackout in Thai history - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

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