When there is a power outage in the states, it’s breaking news. People freak out. They sweat. They can’t run the dishwasher or do laundry. News crews roll out in the live truck, powered by a generator, to broadcast to homes with no juice.
Here in Tulum, outages are accepted as a part of life, especially in rainy season.
Ten years ago, we’d stay in cabanas on the beach and there was no electricity at all if a hotel didn’t have a generator. That was fun for a week or 10 days.
These days, however, I’m frugally living in town while unemployed on a 180-day visa. And — I’m about to be taught yet another lesson in patience.
During the first several weeks here, it seemed the power would cut out every time it rained. So when electricity started going out when skies were sunny, I thought, how odd. Then I discovered it was just my apartment – and that was downright wrong.
The landlord tried to figure it out on his own. I like the guy. He and I communicate through my ridiculous one or two word Spanish drops and silly hand gestures. If I’m by wifi, we use Google translate. He got the juice back on, said it was a thrown breaker outside, no big deal.
Then it happened again. At noon. During my siesta. I tried the breaker inside, but it didn’t work. Turns out, he couldn’t get to the building for awhile. So, it was either sweat my tatas off and lose the stuff in the fridge, or suck it up and flip the switch like a local.
He gave me directions. I did it. This went on for a few days – it would happen now and then. It was frustrating and I was getting impatient.
Then it got worse and the switch needed to be flipped at all hours – including night. There I was – outside in the middle of the night to throw the damn breaker. Last straw. I was close to moving out. Then I took a deep breath. I told the owner, hey, I can’t keep doing this, please fix it and how can I help?
The landlord was at the place all day the next day.
I was washing my laundry outside when he briskly walked over to show me a tiny skull in the palm of his hand. That, he said, was the issue. A gecko. Died and fried.
Only… it wasn’t that little guy. The power went out again not 20 minutes after he showed me that skull, right after I hung my laundry. He was still around and he started disassembling my outlets to test them. All good.
I went out with friends for the evening, and when I left, he had someone on the roof with some wire. Good luck, I said. It was almost dark.
When I came back – magically, it was fixed! And the power hasn’t gone out since then.
I have no idea what the issue was exactly, but it appears there was a bad connection on the wires on the roof somewhere.
There is enough juice so this blog can live another day, and I can keep going to the beach and living in a neighborhood with the locals.
Thank you, God, for showing me there is a calm and manageable way to get juiced up with little patience.