Friday, January 29, 2010
Last night our electricity went out. We thought that we'd run out of electricity even though the meter said we had 15 more units, which is pretty low. We thought perhaps it was a bit off and we were actually out. Here in China, you must prepay for your electricity and when you get low, you go buy more before you actually run out. That is the idea anyway. As Westerners, sometimes you forget to check such things. Actually we'd planned on putting more money on all our utilities next week shortly before the Chinese New Year holiday arrived. We didn't want to be without water or electricity and have the office closed for a week or two. Unfortunately it didn't wait that long so we were without power all evening, until the office opened this morning. At first, the girls said "Can we just go to bed? There's nothing to do with no electricity!" The only light we had was from several candles I'd lighted. We keep plenty of candles and a lighter around the house cause electric outages are quite common here in China. It had been quite a long time since we'd had to put up with this inconvenience. Unlike when we were in Dalian where it was quite a common occurrence; often happening several times per week for 2-8 hours each time! Anyway, instead of going to bed, the girls decided they could play some card games by candlelight. This morning, after putting more money on our electric card and taking it home to recharge the electric, we still did not have electricity! What is the deal I thought? We called someone to come fix it and I then headed to work with all the kids in the cart. On the way, Shawna asked me to stop the cart as Elise had something important to tell me. A confession then came forth that she knew exactly what happened to the electric and why it didn't work. She'd (yes, the oldest who is 12 years old and supposed to be setting the example for the younger ones--who also broke a window out of the back of the cart just the previous day--she's kinda having a bad week you'd say!) decided to see what would happen if you stuck a bobby pin in the socket in the bathroom! She said it was precisely when the electric went out and sparks shot out of the plug and nearly scared the pee out of her! She quickly found out that it is not a good idea! I was amazed that she wasn't shocked or seriously hurt and warned her that she is probably lucky to be alive! She told me that she wasn't actually touching it, which is why she didn't get shocked. She'd stuck it in the hairbrush bristles and used the hairbrush to shove it in the socket. After a talk with her, she said she was glad she told me as she was feeling pretty bad about what happened. I told her I hoped she'd learned something valuable about this lesson and she assured me she did! I'm just so glad that she wasn't hurt!! Children! After telling one of my coworkers the story, she was laughing so hard she nearly fell out of her chair and then went on to tell me a story about her childhood that was also quite funny but scary. I'm so glad we have someone who watches over us, aren't you?!!