Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh


My laptop is shocking me. Literally shocking me.

Electricity in this country is a scary thing. And in Moanoghar it tends to be even scarier. They have a electrician on staff, who isn’t really an electrician. He doesn’t actually have any qualifications and/or training. So they hire a contract electrician too, who from what I can tell, fixes what the other electrician does.

Putting plugs into sockets is always something to be done with care, and it’s always best not to go hell for leather and actually start off by putting the plug into the socket straight away. Best to kind of lightly though the two together to get some idea of potential shock first. You don’t actually need the plug prongs to be IN the socket to get electricity travelling. Just a touch, or sometime just a wave in the general direction will do it.

One of the hostels here recently got a generator. Great thing obviously, not having electricity at night severely impacts students’ ability to study. But the wiring for this generator goes over the roof of my house, through a hole in the wall of the office on the ground floor, and back out through a whole in the wall of the office on the first floor, through the air and into the library. This wiring was sparking a few days ago. Like, you could see the sparks. Someone was called (hopefully good electrician) and it no longer sparks. But it is pretty worrying.

People don’t seem to have the same regard to electricity here as what I’m used to. This does go back to the whole health and safety debate, but really. I’ve seen a guy, on a ladder, in a thunderstorm, messing with wires on a electricity pole. In a BIG thunderstorm…eish. In fact, I unplug everything the minute there is a storm. Many people have had their electrical equipment fried/destroyed due to the power surges during a storm. Power surge protectors don’t seem to be able to offer much protection either. This isn’t just in Moanoghar, but everything in Bangers.

This morning was quite a big shock, left hand on left hand side of laptop. Now I have a bit of a pain in my upper left arm, and somewhat of a headache. Never thought my Mac would hurt me.


1 Comment»

  Amanda wrote @

bru !!!! careful !!!

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