…and then everything went dark

Last Wednesday, the 18th, was a rather eventful day. In the morning The BF had a very important exam, which he aced with the same grade I got the week before. Since a friend of ours went right before him and also got the same very good grade and we have this tradition of eating at a certain restaurant for lunch, we decided to all meet there to celebrate our victories. I wanted to meet up with them on my bike instead of on foot as I usually do – first because I was late, but also because the sun was shining and I felt like riding my bike. I then had to notice that some jerk had slammed his bicycle into mine, because the plastic protection thingy covering the chain was broken into pieces and his pedal was all tangled in it. It was also all covered in rust because it has to stand outside, in the rain. Additionally, my back tire was flat and the front one was missing air as well. I made it to our rendez-vous, but decided to push it back home.

Later that evening, I looked up the opening hours of a bicycle repair shop on the Internet, when my computer went blank. There I was, minding my own business and just surfing around a bit, when it just made a little “pew” and completely shut off. At first I thought it was a bug, until I heard the refrigerator make a weird sound too. And then I noticed that my little desk lamp was off. Apparently, my power had been cut. This wasn’t the first time this happened, so I went to my fuse box and checked if any switches were down – with the help of the light of my cell phone. But my fuses were fine, and the light in the hallway was also missing. I opened the door and tried pushing the button, but nothing happened. Then my neighbor from across (some quite unfriendly young couple) came out and asked if my electricity was out, too. It seemed like the whole building was out.

I heard voices coming up from downstairs (there’s a marketing consultant agency and a school book store on the first floor), so I guessed someone had alerted the landlord. I went back inside and tried to figure out a way to entertain myself. The computer was now out of the question, even though I had a list of things I wanted to get done on there, and the TV wasn’t an option either – the two things I spend most of my free time with… Except for reading. The problem here was that it was getting dark (after six) and I didn’t feel like holding paper near a flame was a good idea. I had managed to find some candles and light them by then. Which reminds me: even if you don’t think you need them, it’s a good idea to always have some big open candles or candlesticks stashed away somewhere. If only for the purpose of creating a romantic atmosphere.

Last option: eat. It was late enough anyway, and I was getting hungry, so why not. I’ll tell you why not. Because in our day and age, there is no way to make food without electricity. I had left-overs, but couldn’t heat them in the microwave. I couldn’t cook, because I have a ceramic stove top. Even my water boiler needs power. Have you ever noticed how dependant we are on electricity? It’s everywhere! Lucky for me, entertainment was on it’s way. I heard sirens outside – and although they pass through here often, I had a hunch these were meant for us. I put on a coat and went out onto my balcony. Sure enough, three fire trucks and two police cars were parked out front. That’s when I noticed: it wasn’t just my building, it was the one on the other side of the street, too. And the street lamps, and the traffic lights. Two whole blocks were without any electricity. Except for the bank, of course, because they must have a back-up generator somewhere. So there I stood as I watched the firemen come and go (no smoke though), the policemen manage the traffic, an ambulance pull up and leave again.

This went on for an hour and a half. I was just standing there with nothing to do, calling The BF everytime some other event went on outside. Luckily he came up with the idea of going to the movies, so that I had something to do and would get my mind off this feeling of being completely shut out. I was worried about the food in my fridge, but he said we could check back when the movie was done and eventually haul everything to his place if we needed to. And just as I was ready to go out, the power came back on and everything was back to normal again. We went to go see Frost/Nixon and had a good time. I read the next day that this was all just because of a cable failure.

Oh, and the 18th would have been my fathers 64th birthday, too. Happy birthday!


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