a city in darkness

I feel like we are heading straight back to the dark age. The government power company (PLN – Perusahaan Listrik Negara) is starting its usual trick again.

For more than 6 months, the power in Medan was shut off in 4 hour shift, three times a day. That was from February till September 2007. Meaning : in one day, we had to go through 12 hours in total without electricity. The black out shift was lifted during the Ramadhan (fasting) month in September. In October the city was also brightly lit to rejoice the arrival of Idul Fitri (Muslim new year).

This week, the blackout shift starts again, this time is not bad, only two shifts of 4 hour. Eight hours in total. Nevertheless, that is bad news for business owners. They do not give us warning of what time the power will be out. So in my shop, we have two generators. Everybody in town has generator.

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garden view – from my room

At home, we use emergency lamps. My father is still not yet convinced to buy a generator. Our house is strategically located, behind the headquarter of national army and we share their power lines. So we normally don’t get black out as other areas. But now it seems to be getting worse. We got black out like everybody else. The fish died, by the way.

The power company said that it is cheaper to keep on repairing old-battered turbine machine than investing in new ones. We do know what that means, right. They use a lot of brokers in getting the machine fixed and serviced. Also in buying spare-parts, there are a lot of yummy holes to be taken advantage of. The impact of this to small businesses has been devastating.

The most upsetting thing is, if the power is out 12 hours a day, theoretically our bill should be at least 40% cheaper. But ..  no, they are still the same amount, as if the power has been on 24 hour a day. When we ask the power company meter guy, he just shrugged it off “This is Indonesia.”

Yes, indeed it is.

In the mean time, I’d better stock up on aromatheraphy candles – to make the black out more exciting experience!

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2 Responses to “a city in darkness”


  1. 1 happysurfer November 27, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Oh my! That is terrible! I empathize with you, Andie. This is the norm? I can imagine meat in the freezer going bad faster.

    Andie : It is very normal .. isn’t that weird. Nobody complains or even talks about it anymore.

    Which is why we don’t stock our freezer anymore. 🙂

  2. 2 LB November 27, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Ironic that Indonesia is also producing so much oil for export… I guess it’s all still going into the pockets of the few, with or without the last dictator..

    Andie : Interesting point. Kinda mess up, don’t you think?


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