The cold season is here, and with the cold season comes some unpleasant things.
Flu seems to be taking the population by storm, everybody is forced to get it at least once *sniff, and I’m no exception.

For the German version of this post, please check this post translated by Mrs. Angelika Gutsche

Electricity, again!

Another sad phenomenon that comes with winter is long power cuts, it’s funny that an oil producing country isn’t able to provide electricity to power up the capital, but that’s how it is.
Notice how I said the capital and not the country, other cities don’t have this issue, it’s just Tripoli.

Which is very stupid – if I’m allowed to rant here- because Tripoli has all the services: Banks, ministries, and communication companies, which means that when you cut the power off of Tripoli, you are shooting yourself in the foot, basically.

It gets colder every year!

This winter is very cold, I know that every winter seems to be the coldest ever, but this one is really cold!
And the lack of electricity means the lack of heating and hot water! Actually water in general, because the pumps that are used to lift the water are electric.

“Alternative” ways to keep warm

I pity those who were forced to leave their homes in this cold due to the on going conflict in Libya, it’s a terrible time to be outside, and I can’t imagine how does it feel not to have a place to go to, a harsh reminder to always be grateful of what you have, amen!

With the lack of electricity we had to improvise, we pulled an old grill and turned it into a makeshift fireplace, or what we call in Libya a “Kannon”, it uses coal for warming up the place.

كانون فحم ليبي
A makeshift fireplace, Kanoon.
Maybe thats the only good thing about the power cuts, having the families get together around the fire, the wind howling outside, telling old tales and sharing a good laugh as the fire clacks and hisses.

A fair warning tho, keeping the “Kannon” in a closed room may cause suffocation, and many people over the years died of carbon monoxide suffocation, how many died this year because of the cold and suffocation? Who knows? I know who to blame tho! #GECOL.

Sadly after writing this bit I learned that 7 people in the mountain city of Ghryan has been admitted to the hospital due to suffocation, and over 200 people with Pneumonia, seven of them who are seriously ill.  

Lack of house insulation

Another thing I have in mind is house insulation, we don’t have that, at all! Our houses are just blocks of cement that is extremely hot in the summer (we had the temperature go up to 50 degrees last summer) and really cold in the winter; the exact opposite of insulation!
Which means that we need to use electric heaters to keep the house warm, and those things consume electricity like hell!

A popular beverage makes a heroic comeback!

On a lighter subject, a popular winter drink has found it’s way into our kitchen, powdered millet, known in Libya and many Arab countries as “Sahleb.
كوب من السحلب
A glass of millet.
It’s a coffee like beverage made from: powdered millet, sugar, water and milk; served warm and it tastes very nice! It’s a good way to fight the cold.

Major hit to productivity

I am struggling to get things done, I’m yet to adapt to this lack of electricity arrangement, and trying to sync my sleep cycle with it failed badly!
So much for productivity, I feel like I went back to the 19 century (and watching Sherlock wherever we had power made this idea more plausible).
How am I supposed to get anything done on 7 hours of electricity a day, if these seven hours are the same hours I’m asleep at?

Final words

Here we are in Libya, surviving barely, struggling to make a living when everything seems to be standing against us, with no money or electricity; I am not sure how long this struggle is supposed to last, I’m positive that it won’t last very long (as if we can survive like this for much longer).

This was my weekly post, I hope you are feeling warm and fuzzy reading this, wherever you are.

Please tell me of how you and your families face this freezing cold and power cuts, and share this post on your social media for more engagement.