Thursday, July 1, 2010

Electricity, Water and Utilities

South East Asia is very problematic.  In certain areas, you might be in a location that has regular power, water and facilities.  In other parts, specifically rural, this can be patchy.  When I was running around in Khao Lak, Thailand, the water was spotty.  I had to fill a trash can full of water just to insure that I could wash.  Power would go out, and I would go outside to hang out with the locals as they sometimes would cook outside.  In Vietnam, it has been reported that the power goes out periodically.  The LA Times had an article this year about the lack of proper grounding in Vietnam which has lead to deaths.  Go here to see it.  Things like this video might make you wonder if I am insane.

In my experience, the power grids in SE Asia are a little spotty.  Running at 220 to 240 volts, it can be a little disconcerting.  I remember a shop house, that used to house my Tsunami Children Foundation personnel, had telephone wires as electrical wires.  No romex lines here.  Knob and tube with proper grounds would be considered state of the art in some places.  Once at a condo, I remember plugging in my computer and getting a mild shock.