It’s Like Camping Without the Hassle

I recently came across an article on Jozi Kids called “100 Benefits of Load-Shedding.”

One hundred? Okay Jozi Kids, I think you might have gone just a tad overboard. There are not even one hundred benefits of Nutella. Or central heating. Or indoor plumbing.

But I do get their idea. Rather ...  Continue Reading

Load-Shitting, Excuse me, Shedding

Load-shedding.

It’s the word on every South African’s lips these days.

(For my non-South African readers: no, this has nothing to do with going to the toilet and getting rid of THAT load, as you might be inclined to deduce from the title of this post or the word itself or even from the fact ...  Continue Reading

I’m Having an Affair

Yes, I have an affair. It started shortly after moving to South Africa. It wasn’t all that secret, to be honest, but it was very time consuming. I mostly conducted it over the phone, except for one not-so-clandestine encounter. Then I thought I ended it last July. 190 long days of not talking ...  Continue Reading

The Medupi Power Station

Medupi Power Station

Following my previous post about energy, where I somewhat romanticized the notion of poverty and low energy usage in South Africa, I thought I should be honest and show the entire picture.

South Africa, you see, is building the world’s largest dry-cooled coal-fired power plant. When completed, ...  Continue Reading

My Truce with Eskom

Here I thought I had finally come to a sort of unspoken agreement with Eskom (our electricity provider here in South Africa): Every once in a while I’d call my new friend there, Mr. Smith (I am not kidding, that’s his actual name; come to think of it, maybe it is just what he wants me ...  Continue Reading

Eskom: Absolute Power to Turn Off Your Power Whenever They so Choose

I’m actually shaking with rage as I’m writing this. My South African friends will no doubt laugh and shrug their shoulders and tell me “Welcome to Africa.” Noisette tells me that at least it makes for another good story, and he’s quite right. I’m grateful to you, who are reading my blog, for letting me vent for the next ten minutes, otherwise I think I might explode.

Eskom came and turned our power off today. In broad daylight. I wouldn’t even have known but for Sibu’s (our domestic help) quick thinking, who spotted a security guard in our driveway and went to find out what was going on.

What was going on was that there were two people from Eskom, escorted ...  Continue Reading