Wednesday, November 11

It's no Brazil, but it's bad

While Arequipa has far from the electrical problems Brazil experienced yesterday--no electricity in 18 provinces for six hours--rolling blackouts and "blueouts" (my name for a water outage) are weekly occurrences.

Usually, blackouts and blueouts rotate between neighborhoods, but sometimes, the city cuts electricity to a certain block. That was the case this morning at the bakery in Miraflores

At four a.m., la señora Delia told me, someone arrived at the door warning that they were going to have to cut the electricity off in thirty minutes. As you can imagine, for a bakery that produces most of it's bread in the wee hours of the morning, an hour or two without lights or ovens is extremely costly. 

At first, la señora Delia was her sweet self with the messenger. "Please señor don't cut our electricity. Please señor I have to run my business." But when that didn't work, she got nasty. "Listen usted (a stern usted), if you cut my electricity, you'll pay for every sol I lose."

That and offering to pay 10 soles for the man's breakfast convinced him, and she got her electricity back. 

The bakery escaped disaster, that is, until around 6 p.m. when the water went off for two hours. The city usually announces on the local radio when they plan to have a blueout and in which neighborhoods. But often, it still comes as a surprise, as it did today. The bakery, again, was out a main ingredient for prime cake-baking hours. 

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