Monday, June 3, 2013


Even the airplanes take off into the wrong direction. They take off southward instead of northward as they usually do. I watch them every couple of minutes targeting above the buildings into the dark night. Take off southward is only happening with no wind at all.

Since sunset I sit on the balcony; patiently, resigned to my fate and hopeful. Only once do I utter “ohhh!” – the moment, when a complex of building diagonally opposite is being lit. Yet a short moment later, it falls into darkness again. All Hurghada is dark.

Eventually, I discern the glimmer of light that cities send into the dark. A quick telephone call to my friend confirms that electricity is back there. Later, the street lights within sight radiate their strange orange light. At least, I thought.

It’s 8pm and temperature is still at 33 degrees Celsius. Not the lightest breeze. And today of all days there is a power cut. During the last two days, temperature climbed past 40 degrees in the shadow, much too hot for this time of the year.

While watching the stars on the night sky, I wonder what is more pleasant: the enduring cold and wet in Europe with all its consequences such as winter coat in June, flood and heating costs or this heat here with power cuts, spoiled food and bust electronic devices. I can’t find the answer.

My TV is broken for sure. It was the only device that was switched on and that got switched off with a big bang or rather blew out. First I didn’t react at all, because I’m mentally prepared for power cuts. But then I realised the unusual bang. Nevertheless, I went to have a nap, what else should I do in this sweltering heat? Of course, I hoped that after my nap electricity would be back.

From internet I got to know that in Hurghada, apartments caught fire and that the fire brigade had to march out. I myself am of course not prepared for power cuts. One single candle is left. In the dark, I toddle through my flat, fetch the candle from a drawer and light it cautiously.  I carefully place it on the balcony. It’s pretty, the small light. Underneath my balcony, around the swimming pool more candles have been put. There is laughter and clinking of glasses but no music for tonight.

But drinks are tepid. My fridge isn’t cool at all. I don’t use my laptop in order to save the energy in case of emergency.

Why is Egypt not able to cover its need of energy with what they have in abundance, namely sun and wind? They could sell energy to Europe, improve their quality of living, and create jobs. Instead, summer after summer the country suffers from power cuts. What a waste!
Short before midnight, I go to bed. I wake up almost every hour and press the button to switch on the bedside lamp: it remains dark. It is at sunrise when the longed for energy is back.

The reason for the power cut was an overdose of 430 (others say 480) volt during 15 seconds instead of the normal 220 volt. It is a masterpiece of the present Egyptian government. The consequences: scorched cables, unusable sockets and bust electronic devices.

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