The other day we had a black out around 8pm. I took it rather personally, because I had just returned a few hours earlier from shopping in Chitre, where I finally treated myself to a gallon of Riba-Smith’s Rimith Chocolate ice cream, which is, I maintain unconditionally, a spiritual experience.
I love the stuff, but I usually just get a cone in the store rather than buying any to take home because of the logistics of hustling it home before it melts. This time, I came prepared with a cooler, packed it in ice, and succeeded in getting through my front door with the container still – mostly – frozen.
Anyway, there it was about two hours later, gloriously rich and deep brown in my fridge, nice and frozen, waiting to call me to the higher realms of delight, when the lights went off.
I wasn’t worried, because the power goes out frequently, then comes right back up. Which is why everyone here has power regulators and surge protectors by the dozen.
However, this time the power didn’t come back up until 14 hours later. That was a very hot night, with no fans. Very hot. Pantingly hot. An impossible-to-sleep night. And I kept thinking about my ice cream. I would have gotten up and eaten some, just to “keep it from spoiling,” but I knew I couldn’t save the whole gallon that way. I hoped that by staying out of the fridge altogether, I could salvage my lovely chocolate treat.
The next morning I found a couple of articles that have convinced me: I shall not again buy chocolate ice cream to take home. It seems that here in Panama the demand for energy is growing by leaps and bounds annually, while the attempts to keep the infrastructure in line with the demand are, one might say, a bit behind that. One of the writers quoted a honcho at the Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica, S.A. (Etesa) stating that many of Panama’s power lines are presently obsolete and need replacing.
However, they are leaving it to the next administration.
And it’s going to cost $400 million.
Well, if they were working on that when my ice cream melted, I can fault them only for their timing, nothing more.