Sunday, December 11, 2011

Light bulbs

Six weeks ago, when we were shirking our cat sitting duties by flying to Osaka for my marathon, one of our friends came round to entertain the kitten. She figured the simplest way to do this was to remove a light bulb from the ceiling and replace it with nine feet of dangling string for the kitten to play with. She's German, that was probably quite normal for her.

We're very lazy, so it took us five weeks for us to untie the string (long after the kitten had returned to her staff in North Point) and another week before I got round to purchasing a new light bulb to put into the socket. (The old light bulb appears to have evaporated somewhere in the apartment, as is the way of all things.)

We did have one spare bulb, brought from the old flat in Happy Valley, but it was a bayonet fitting, rather than screw-in. So after another week of laziness, we went to Park and Shop, our local supermarket, and I bought a screw-in bulb.

And then after rearranging the apartment so I could clamber on top of our sofa and reach up to the light fitting, what do I discover, but that the new bulb won't fit in, because for some strange reason Hong Kong hasn't standardised on a single size of screw-in light bulbs, possibly because they really enjoy the thought of me scurrying between apartment and supermarket (and up and down twelve flights of stairs) growing progressively more enraged as each bulb turns out to be incompatible with the ceiling of our flat.

I know that comes across somewhat like the words of an egomaniac, but given that there's exactly one (British) standard for electrical plug sockets, it seems highly unlikely that the SAR has come to this needless multiplication of light bulb standards without somebody having the express aim of frustrating me.

Not that they've succeeded. Or rather, I've become so incandescent with rage that we no longer require electricity to illuminate the apartment.


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