I hate Chinese electronics.
When I bought my single cooker stove (I will be the master of one-pot meals!), the plug was German or British or something. The guy at the store gave me an adapter that looked like a power strip, but each plug was for a different country. It looked fine to me, but a friend who was with me said, prophetically, “It may not be able to support the current, so be careful.”
The Chinese-made power strip worked fine enough for a while, except that it sometimes smelled like it was burning, and the on-off button melted. Then, two days ago, I was cooking when there was a pop and a flash of light from the strip. My stove kept working, so I just figured I’d go out that afternoon and try to find another adapter.
I forgot to do so, but I did invite two Rwandan friends over for an American dinner of mac and cheese. When I tried to cook, the power strip wasn’t functioning, and something was rattling around inside. Desperate, I played electrician, opening it up and screwing everything back in. Then I plugged everything together, and I must be quite a talented electrician, because it started working…and then POP! there was an even bigger flash of light (I assure you, I was scared out of my wits) and the fuse blew.
I was so pissed that I didn’t know whether to curse in English or French.
My friends still came over. We ate bread by flashlight.
Recalling the night when I had no electricity, so I was forced to eat dry pasta for dinner, I spent the next morning trying to find the fuse box. I spoke with the cook/repair guy who is often loitering on the grounds outside my apartment, but he unfortunately didn’t understand a word of English or French, despite his constant nodding and smiling. For an hour, I tried to re-enact the events through an elaborate charade accompanied by slowly-spoken French (not that it mattered). Needless to say, he didn’t understand anything. He just looked at the power strip and shook it a little.
I sought other help, and (as I live in the Catholic parish), 4 hours, 2 priests, 1 nun, 1 secretary, 3 laborers, 1 guard and 2, yes, 2 electricians later, we found the fuse box, which was where I had thought it would be, but no one believed me. My electricity is up and running, and I got a better adapter. This one’s made in Japan.