We've already had fun with Arabian Shower Adventures. Let's move on to Arabian Electricity Adventures.
Where to begin...well, in our Damascus apartment, there was the fact that there were about three times as many light switches in the apartment as there were actual lights. I never figured out what the other switches were meant to do. Mostly I just left them alone.
Then there were the two huge chandeliers in the living room with fake candles as lightbulbs which flickered on and off depending on how much electricity was flowing through our apartment at the moment.
There were the times we lost power altogether, especially during the summer when everyone was using their AC at the same time. That was always fun. And hot.
When we moved into that apartment, our landlady gave us strict instructions that of the four appliances comprising the oven, microwave, AC, and washing machine, we were never to run any two at the same time. She never clarified what would happen if we did, but it made for some awkward situations where I'd have to pause a load of wash to cook dinner, or we'd sweat for a hot hour or two while we kept the AC off so we could finish said load.
You already know about the outlet by our shower head, and the funky electrical current running through the water at one of our apartments in Jordan.
But what has really remained with me when it comes to weird electricity issues in the Middle East is a paralyzing, consuming fear of front-loading washing machines. We had a ghetto little European model in Damascus and even when it was powered off, it had a fairly strong electric charge running through it on the inside. Whatever, I could deal with that. What I couldn't deal with, however, was the fact that when the washer was finished spinning and I had to retrieve the wet clothes from inside it, the electric charge ran through those, too.
I developed a system of snatching the clothes out of the washer very quickly with two fingers so as to not get shocked too badly. Then I figured out I could use a wooden spoon to wedge them out of the machine without touching them at all. That worked even better.
Even though it's been more than three years since I've been shocked by a washing machine, I still give an involuntary shudder every time I have to unload clothes from one. Sometimes I even give the wet clothes a test poke just to make sure they're not carrying an electric charge. So far, so good. So far.