The country of Lebanon doesn’t have enough electricity to meet the demands of it’s nearly 4 million residents. So Beirut is on a rolling brown out system. Basically, we don’t have power for three hours every day. Thankfully, it is on a schedule, so we can work around it (if I haven’t started the laundry by 630 am, wait til after lunch cuz the power is going off at 9…. for example! :)).
We are lucky to have a generator in our building, so when the electricity is out we can still have our fridge running and use a few other small appliances. During the summer generator hours, we generally turn everything off except for one AC unit in one of the back rooms where we all hang out to keep cool.
But, what happens when you add 2.2 million (yes, you read that number right!) tourists to the mix?!? Even less electricity to go around! Since most of those tourists are staying in Beirut, the government (maybe? are they the ones in charge of electricity?) is doing what they can to keep the power on as much as possible in the city… which means people outside of the city are out of electricity for 8-10 hours every day! Even that is not enough though, and more than once during the day we lose power and have to flip onto generator. So lots of these conversations happening these days….
“Hey, can you turn off the AC so I can use the microwave?”
“Is the hot water heater on or can I turn these lights on?”
“Oh, sorry, I just blew the switch! I forgot we were on generator and used my hairdryer!”
Ah well. I am just thankful that we have a generator! We didn’t in our old place… which meant lots of spoiled meat, cold showers and sweaty heads during the busy tourist season last year!