Thursday, March 12, 2009
It´s Electric, boogie-oogie-oogie!
Every morning I wake up, generally to the pleasant sound of rabid barking dogs or periodically to my bedroom ceiling crumbling down upon my tranquil face while my dad hammers away on the roof. I get up, brush my teeth, and hop in the shower. The shower, let me explain, has an electric water heater. And, on the wall of our bathroom, there is a switch that I generally flip while i brush my teeth, to get the electric generator going and warm up the water. This switch has a rubber cover on it, and the electric switchboard has a plastic case to keep wet individuals from electrocuting themselves. Thus far, this has worked quite well for me. However, the plastic casing has been getting loose, and falling off. And this morning when I walked into the bathroom it was gone completely. Instead, on the wall was the metal generator complete with metal coils, wires, screws, all glimmering brilliantly in the morning sun pouring through the windows. As i brushed my teeth and daintily grabbed the rubber cover of the switch a conversation with my mother rang in my ears: ¨Electric showers? You´re going to electrocute yourself! Make sure you know how to use it¨ she´d warned, after reading about the elctric water heaters used in most of ecuador. So i was careful, i made sure to avoid touching the metal and i hopped in. Now, this rarely happens, but periodically the shower water is too hot. I repeat, 99% of the time, i am freezing my butt off, but today that electric heater was really doing its job. So much so that half way through the shower I had to turn it off because the water was scalding my body and there is only one nob to turn the water on and off, nothing to control temperature. So, carefully, i reach for the rubber casing. Slowly i begin to flip the switch into the off position, taking care not to touch the metal plate. But, ALAS, a ROGUE DROPLET of water hanging from my thumb reached its watery limbs as far as it could and clung to a metal coil miliseconds before I could pull my hand away, and suddenly VOLTS OF ELECTREICITY COURSED THROUGH MY NAKED ARM AND BODY AND I FLEW AGAINST THE WALL OF THE SHOWER.
That´s right. I was electrecuted while showering this morning.
After my heart started beating at a normal pace again, i toweled off, walked back to my room and got dressed. Just another morning in Lumbisi, Ecuador.