by Irina Bernebring Journiette
Today was powerless. And by powerless I don’t mean as in the kind of power you can have over other individuals or over structural issues, but lacking of actual power–the electric currency that animates my life. Without it my entire existence is almost rendered useless. I know that might be seen as a tragic reality of our post-modern and perhaps post-natural society but seriously, how do I go about my day if I can’t use the internet, charge my laptop or my phone? Or even turn the light switch on? (I know, I have a flashlight, but still. And my flashlight wont help the fact that my food slowly spoils in the useless fridge).
Luckily for me I know that the power will be turned back on soon again, so I just wait. And wait. Today I waited for seven hours. Last time I waited for two. It’s strange that the power fails almost on cue when I have something important to do online. And it is strange that I’ve been able to accumulate such an addiction to electricity without even realizing it. But it’s even more strange how quickly I get used to the waiting. Ten or twenty minutes there, an hour one day, five the next. That the lacking of power, even though annoying, reminds me that there are other things, non-electrical, that I can enjoy. So I lay down on the balcony and read a book. And I make pancakes to use up my milk so it doesn’t spoil and I make up the recipe as I go along because I only remember bits and pieces of it. And I become adventurous and explore a new matatu-route and go to the market and buy fruits. It’s like the everyday power-shortages have become small breaks in my electronic and automated life of thesis-writing.