Sunday, November 06, 2005

Things Are Looking Up!

Our situation has changed a lot -for the better- since the beginning of the week. We now have a small generator which powers the tv, the computer and some lights in our apartment. It doesn't have enough strength to run the fridge so that's still a problem. I actually didn't do any grocery shopping this week so there's not much in the fridge that's going to spoil now. I think I'll keep things this way for the meantime, at least until it gets cold enough to store things outside on the terrace. I've thought of looking for a small styrofoam cooler to keep out there during the winter, but finding one is probably like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Another good thing is that we have heat! The daytime temperatures were wonderful all week, with highs of 75F almost everyday. But as soon as the sun goes down (by 5 it is pitch dark), the temperature quickly drops and in concrete apartments you feel the cold right away. They turned on the radiators yesterday afternoon and within 5 minutes we were really warm. I was surprised at how much heat they give off!
The landlord/owner of our building had to climb up the stairs one day this week in order to discuss a few problems with me. I am sure that that climb helped make his decision to buy a HUGE generator to power the elevator! Yippeeeeeeeeee! I am one happier woman. In 10 days we should no longer have to worry about the 170 stairs or getting trapped in the elevator. We would have been trapped tonight if we hadn't stopped to buy a bottle of Coke. Just as we were paying for it the power went out and once again we were left in the dark. Good thing I have my little flashlight in my purse! We've been told the power cuts would generally be from 9-3 everyday but for the past two days they are also cutting it in the evening for a few more hours. I can't imagine how hard this must be for people with babies or for the elderly with health concerns.
We had a discussion this afternoon about the situtation. A lot of people believe that there is plenty of hydro available but the current government is enforcing restrictions in order to make the people think that the former government was so terrible that they used up all the electricity without thinking about the future. Now this is probably not true because the former gov. did not for one moment think that they would lose the elections. Another rumour is that the former gov. had made a deal with neighbouring Greece to import energy but the new gov. reneged on the deal to make the old leadership look bad. Who knows the truth??
I'm just wondering how much the Albanian people will take.


Gia-Gina said...

About the power situation, I used to get spotty power on Guam too when I was growing up there. The power plant just did not have the capacity and so some villages were turned off for an hour or more each day, of course unannounced. I am glad you got a generator. I don't think I could bear it now that I have a laptop.

melusina said...

I go crazy without power. We had constant power outages when we lived on Kos (a Greek island close to Turkey) and I assumed that was the result of island life. I really don't see how long time residents can stand it - unless they have a generator.

How could the former government use up power? It is constantly being generated, at least I would think it is. I haven't heard anything about a deal with Greece to export power, Greece just made a deal with Italy in fact, I don't think Greece has ever had enough to spare. Especially with me living here. =p

Miss Kim said...

Unfortunately 90% of Albania's power comes from hydroelectric stations which depend solely on water (in reservoirs), which this year, due to lack of rain, are almost dry, therefore the turbines cannot produce power, and there's no hope in sight. Watch out Mel- I might come to visit you!! **grin**