Here’s the next Random Indonesian Object – the power strip. Homes here have about 1/3 as many outlets as American homes, so that leads to some creative solutions to getting power around the house. Just to give you an idea, we have 9 outlets in our house, and each outlet is only for 1 plug. Of those outlets, exactly ZERO are in the living room. So that means lots of extension cables running all over the place. The is a normal situation here: the most common type of power strip you can buy is a circular type with four outlets and a 10-15 meter cord (pictured below).
This particular power strip is from an outlet in Elizabeth’s bedroom, and the cord runs around the corner and into our living room so we can power our DSL modem and WiFi router, since that’s where the telephone cable is.
Here’s a few pictures of the power strip on my desk:
And yes, if you are wondering, that half plugged-in plug is that way on purpose so that it gets a good connection.
Electricity is very different here, and there’s not nearly as much of it. For instance, our entire house runs on 2200 Watts, coming from ONE breaker. This is the breaker box for our house:The average American home probably has at least 10-15 breakers in that big, grey breaker box. I will freely admit that I am not an engineer like most of the other members of my family, but just to give you an idea, here’s a chart of some example appliances and their approximate wattages that I found online:
|central A/C (2.5 ton)||3000W|
Our fridge, computers, TV, lights, fans, microwave, etc. all run on just 2200 Watts. We have to think about what we’re running at the same time, and it’s pretty routine to trip that breaker. So, energy efficiency is a priority here, but for economic and practical reasons.
We have learned to check the wattage of every appliance before we buy it, especially since Kara wanted to get a nice iron and bought one without looking at the watts first. It was 2100 Watts and worked for 2 minutes with everything else in the house off before blowing the breaker. Needless to say, we are MUCH more aware of how much energy everything takes and sort of marvel at how much electricity a single house has in America! Most appliances here are made to be low-wattage since houses don’t have much electricity to work with, and most of them run very efficiently. This has definitely shown us how we can live on a lot less electricity if we need to!