Category: south africa

The problem with load shedding

Last night I had my phone stolen. I’d had a great evening watching the rugby, waving my flag and feeling fabulously patriotic.

Going home on public transport made me feel passionately South African, and it was only when I sat down on the bus that I realised I’d been pick-pocketed.

My proudly South African moment ended there.

And the night ended with a phone call to my Cellular Service (You are number 3005 in the queue, your call is important to us), another phone call to my Insurance Company (you are oddly enough also number 3005 in the queue, please don’t hang up), and today rushing around to buy a new phone and get a new Sim card.

Of course there’s been load shedding all around the country so my Cellular Service which is always offline, has been even more offline than ever.

So, dodging potholes, I drove to my cellular provider in The Rosebank Mall.

The system was down so they directed me to their store next door to Clicks who were also offline and sent me to Killarney but they were in the midst of a rolling black out and so I came home to do a bit of work and have a drink.

And then the power went out at home so I decided to brave it and went to Campus Square where my provider was under renovation so I had a bacon sandwich at Woolies where the kind man told me there was a new store a bit further out.

I went there and midway through the sim swap the power also crashed BOOM BANG KAPOW and not being able to breathe, I gave up.

So I didn’t get a new phone. And my power at home had still not been restored.

Which meant I had loads of time to sit around and not text anyone, not call my children, not cyber sex, and in fact, do nothing at all but reminisce. And write a story. By hand.

About all my other phones that have been stolen, lost or sadly forgotten.

The Nokia that went through the washing machine. That was a huge trauma. It may have been traumatic for the phone too, but I didn’t have much fun watching it go round and round with soapy bubbles and stained underwear.

The Samsung that I threw into the river when I meant to throw a stick for the dog. The one that the dog refused to fetch, because he cleverly knows the difference between a stick and a phone.

Phones that have been dropped in the loo, splashed free spiritedly into swimming pools, been abandoned in bars, or just mysteriously, disappeared out of bags, or even with bags.

While sitting in the dark, writing this story by candlelight, I had a moment. I stopped thinking about phones. I started thinking it was all quite nice actually. It felt kinda warm, cosy and old-fashioned.

Maybe, I didn’t need to get a new phone. Maybe I could live without electricity. Maybe these were all signs about a life change.

Time to sell my house, relocate and find a small town. One that has no electricity, no phones and no potholes. One where I’ll have solar power and grow my own veggies. Maybe I’ll even meet a man there, live side by side with gas lamps and home grown tomatoes…

Oh hang on. IT’S BACK ON. I HAVE LIGHT. Be right back, rushing off to Rosebank. Thanks Eskom, I love you.