Wednesday, July 20, 2016

power hiccup

Power went out in my place last night. Circuit breaker. I had come back from my huge walk, flipped on the A/C, and done some laundry. A few minutes after finishing the laundry—poof. No power. I went to the circuit breaker and saw that the master switch (the breaker is a row of four switches, three of which were all still flipped up) had flipped down. I flipped it up, and power came back on... for only a few minutes, after which it popped off again. Given how late it was (after 1AM), I decided to sleep on it. The contents of my fridge would remain cool for several hours as long as I didn't open the appliance, and my cell phone's battery would survive the night without needing a charge.

So I woke up and went right over to the circuit breaker to try flipping the main power on again. No dice. I dressed, went downstairs, and told the friendly concierge what the problem was (the chadan-gi, i.e., the circuit breaker, whose full name is the hwaero chadan-gi; I'd had to look that word up back when I lived in Ilsan and had suffered the same problem); he called the electrician, who showed up ten minutes after I had gone back up to my place.

The problem stumped the electrician, so he called in reinforcements. A second guy appeared, and the two were able, after lots of arcane tinkering, to restore power. I'm back to enjoying my A/C; my room faces east, and the sky is already lightening around 4:30AM, so by 9AM, I'm getting the full greenhouse effect in my apartment, with everything heating up to barbarous, sweat-inducing levels.

The second guy gave a long spiel about what the problem was, but I understood less than half of what he was talking about. There was something about water leakage, and possibly something else about how my circuit breaker is hooked into the building's larger electrical network, and how part of the problem lay outside the confines of my apartment. At least... I think I caught that. I just nodded sagely as he talked, feigning full comprehension. To me, the practical issue was: did I have power again? For now, the answer seems to be yes.

I'm off to Seoul National again today—the second of my four SNU teaching days (August 1 and 2 are my final two dates). I'll be meeting up with the infamous Charles again, this time for burgers. Charles says that the place we're going to serves nine-ounce burgers, and I'm all about the huge. Expect photos tonight.


Charles said...

Yes! I am finally infamous!

Surprises Aplenty said...

Infamous is when you are more than famous. This man Charles is not just famous, he is in famous.