The power cuts were one thing – I had supercharged the laptop batteries and so had a full working day’s supply; the water was another. I heard the washing machine chugging on dry when the power was cut, which meant that the water pump was also out, but once the power was back a few hours later, I presumed that the water was back on too. Not so, and the two full loads of wash in preparation for our holiday soon drained our water tank dry. I called the National Water Commission at 5.30 pm and was told they had just switched the pump on and so the water pressure would have built up enough to reach us by 6 pm. “Can’t you pedal faster?” I asked, exasperated.
The final straw was the loss of Internet connection. I had written an angry e-mail to my ISP demanding to know why their exchange rate for my US$ fee came out at J$76, when the standard rate is around J$65. Maybe they decided to teach me a lesson by squeezing my power-user bandwith till it choked. I have a backup plan for these situations – stroll around the neighbourhood with a wireless-enabled laptop and you’ll pick up two or three unprotected wireless networks. I get a great free connection by the pool while the kids play, for example.
Still, after a day like today, when all I heard this morning were tales of burglary and rape, when I rushed to the bank to find it closed at 2.30 pm, when I sat in my car outside MegaMart, rocking gently in a gale force wind, a day sans lecky, sans water, sans Internet … after a day like today I’ll be happy to be off the island for a short while.