My gratitude was held in bounds and I only thanked him verbally.
We've been here for over three years, yet the memories of how a power failure can disrupt ordinary life is still stuck in our bones. Yes, when you have lived in South Africa, you don't take any amenity for granted.
As Bob and I lived in a flat on the eighth floor, back when we were immersed in the unexpected black out cycle, being stuck in a lift was part of the deal. Oh believe me, that only happened to me once and I made sure to climb the stairs. That was over three years ago and the and often unexpected rolling blackouts were scheduled for a few more years.
When I tell anyone here that an annual increase of 25% was doled out to all the consumers ( over a period of 3 years ) in order to pay for new power stations etc, no one believes me. I can tell that some think I am telling porkies and a few others are formulation that ever present question...
" Did you also have lions and elephants roaming the streets?
At the moment, the whole of South Africa is going through another batch of awful power cuts and rolling blackouts. Reading and hearing about this, has brought all those memories back to the surface. A lack of electricity doesn't just affect your TV and lights, but it also stops the traffic lights, your stash of anything in the freezer thaws and security gates, fences and electric garage doors are null and void for that period of time.
Last week I was coming back from my morning walk and noticed an Energie Burgenland ( our electricity provider ) truck parked on the side of our road. A young chap was putting out notices for us. Little stands with notices stuck to it. Now and again they are around the neighbourhood as we are entering the 21st century with fiber optic cables and the like.
" Have you cut the electricity? " " No, I am putting up the notices. The electricity will be off on Wednesday from 9 am until 10.30 am. "those living in South Africa will have a chuckle right now and hum that song
..." how #$%@& can we believe you "...but as this isn't my first predicted power cut here in Burgenland, I can tell you with certainty that this schedule is kept to the second.
With that in mind, I told the Energie Burgenland chap:
" Thank you so much for always sticking to your schedule. It is not a given, and you guys always deliver without fail. Thank you so much."
This must have been a first for him. Someone thanking him for his job? Everyone here takes efficiency for granted but when you have seen the other side of it, gratitude becomes a given...