The Dark Ages

Woo hoo! Our first care package!

Only $62 in postage (!), and thanks to my Mom, we now have lots of suction cup hooks, a flat cotton sheet (not the norm here), adapters, mac and cheese, Girl Scout cookies, and a few other goodies! As soon as we got the box, I unpacked them and arranged everything on the table for this picture, and Dennis went straight for the adapters and began plugging in our Wii. Order of events from there:

  1. Dennis plugs in adapter
  2. Dennis plugs in Wii power cord
  3. We hear a loud “Pop”
  4. Apartment goes black

And that is how it remained all weekend.

We tried to fix the issue ourselves, but the braker box in our apartment didn’t do a dern thing. And since it was 7 o’clock Friday evening, it was going to cost 60 bucks to have maintenance come take a look. We’ll wait till Monday when it’s free, thankyouverymuch. So we lived in the dark for the weekend.

It wasn’t so bad, really. The weather was nice, so it felt fine inside. By day, we found that we can temporarily manage just fine without lights, fridge, and microwave, but not without our computers. We camped out in coffee shops most of the weekend (more on that momentarily).

By night, we discovered the iPad makes a great bathroom night light. Also, while the idea of spending an evening on the patio by candle light, sans computers, sounds like a nice change of pace, it’s only okay. Kind of boring.

Being electronically homeless, we discovered that Prague has these great coffee shops that have expansive upstairs with lots of extra seating — ideal for setting up shop away from the registers, where you don’t have to worry about baristas giving you the stink-eye because you brought your own power strip to charge your phone, too. Or worse, because you’ve been there for eight hours.

A couple other things we learned during our weekend in the dark:

My laptop has 30 percent battery left after watching a DVD. Way to go, laptop.

Even lunch meat looks fancy if you roll it, cut it, and arrange it on a plate with cheese cubes.

Speaking of, there are certain advantages to having a fridge the size of a child’s dresser. Like, not much food to go bad when the power goes out.

Oh. And even though appliances have a fancy power brick, don’t assume they’re rated for a range of voltage like they should be. Thanks a lot, Nintendo.

Come Monday, a troupe of three friendly maintenance men paraded in to check on things. They’d flipped the main braker switch that’s locked up in the building entryway, and we were set.

(Now please don’t ask how much we spent on eating out most of the weekend because the math will make me mad. Remember, we saved $60 by living in the dark all weekend, thankyouverymuch.)


oh, amy. they should use these as “adapting to other cultures with a cheerful heart 101” class for future field workers. love love love it. :) miss you guys.

You crack me up. Hope D figures out how to use the Wii!

Hmm, my non-electrically-savvy brain gets confused why 120V doesn’t work with 100V-240V as my math brain says it’s right in the middle. But maybe I shouldn’t ask. And I love that your care package contained Girl Scout cookies – made from highest quality Girl Scouts!

Thank you, sweet Ali.:) I’m not going to lie… knowing that we can share our mishaps here helps us keep a good attitude!
Mom – Dennis found out where we can buy the right power cord… we just have to go get it.
Alissa – That’s exactly it… the one on the right is from the Wii, and it’s only listed as 120V. The one on the left is from another of Dennis’ toys, and since it has a range, it’s good to go!

If only i was in Prague… we could’ve had a lot of coffee shop work dates that weekend! =) I guess next time you’ll try all new appliances on a Thursday…

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