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Wednesday, October 06, 2004 

That Could've Hurt

Strange Thing #10: There are two types of light bulbs here. And if you are unaware of this fact, and try to fit the wrong bulb in, you will short circuit your brand new lamp and cause the fuse to blow.

Strange Thing #10a: All electrical appliances have fuses, because there is enough voltage running through these old wires to kill a horse.

Why? Why would you have two very different kinds of light bulb sockets? This is just confusion for the sake of confusion, I swear. The area of my dorm room where I have set up my bed (and trust me, my options there are quite limited) is dark, so when I read at night all snuggled up and warm, I have to get back out and walk across the room to turn the overhead light off. Since I have yet to see a store actually selling lamps, I bought an adorable lamp with an elephant on it from eBay UK and it finally arrived, sans bulb. So I went to a store and bought a bulb (no easy task mind you, light bulbs are as rare as do-dos in this country) and when I opened the bulb package, I was quite surprised to see two metal rods sticking out of the bottom of the bulb. I thought, well ok perhaps these trail along the screwing section of the socket. Problem was the lamp socket is deep within the lamp and not accessible so I couldn't see where I was going wrong. It didn't feel right from the beginning, but I turned the lamp on just to see if I was successful and *POP* something happened. Later that night flatmate Joe and I went to Tesco where he patiently explained The Two Light Bulb System that operates in this country and helped me buy the correct bulb. I went home and screwed it in but of course it didn't work and I realized that the pop noise must have been the fuse blowing. All I need now is a tiny screwdriver and a fuse, which I reckon I'll be able to locate in about three to four months.

Good news is that after two weeks of living in one of the largest and most metropolitan cities in the world, I finally managed to buy coat hangers! There were in a dish and kitchen store of all places, hidden in the back. So maybe lightbulbs and lamps are easy to find here, I just need to go to the least logical place to purchase, so I don't know.... A gourmet cheese shop? A shoe store?

And better news is that my computer is finally up and running and I'm only waiting for the university to grant it access via ethernet to the rest of you, so pictures will finally be coming soon!

I'm glad the computer is working!

Interesting! We used to only have bayonet light bulbs and relatively recently started having more screw in ones - I think the influence of america! Buy lightbulbs from BIG supermarkets (not Locals or Metros usually - as are found in town) or hardware stores and if you ever go down Oxford Street go in John Lewis - the most useful department store - lightbulbs, coat hangers, kitchen stuff etc etc as well as clothes and stuff).

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