…oh my! There are so many things here that are different than in the U.S. One of them I encounter everyday are the numerous switches on the walls.
Picture if you will; that you’re in a room with recessed lighting in the ceiling. Now let’s say there are a total of ten lights; how many switches would you have to flip up to turn all of them on? In my dining room alone there are (10) lights and one ceiling fan. To turn all of them on I would have to flick seven regular switches and turn four dimmer knobs. Now some of the lights are tied in together, so if I flip one switch, three of them will go on at once…but only if I turn the dimmer knob too. It’s like this in every room AND several rooms have more than one of these large switch plates.
Not only are there switches for the fans and lights, but the outlets too. Yes, in order for an outlet to work you must first turn it on. Okay maybe that’s not such a big deal; but it can be if you’re charging something, say like a cell phone, and you forget to turn it on. It can also be a problem if you don’t remember to turn off an outlet during a power outage. Imagine something, for instance a laptop, getting hit with 220 volts every time the power comes back on. Yes, they run on 220 here, not 110; so having power adapters for electronics from home is necessary, but it isn’t enough. You need to make sure that the appliance is rated accordingly.
There are switches for the fans, lights and outlets; but let’s not forget about the hot water geysers. If you are one of those people that like to jump out of bed and start your day with a nice hot shower, it’s not going to happen here. First you jump out of bed and turn on the geyser; then you go drink a cup of coffee. Maybe two if you want a really hot one (TWSS).
So, there are switches for the fans, lights, outlets and geysers, but wait, let’s not forget the doorbell. Yes, even the doorbell is on a switch; which is fine if you don’t want to be disturbed, but not if you want the guy to pick up your garbage every day.
It just seems to me like so much extra and unnecessary wiring; and it’s confusing, trying to remember which switch is for what. Out of boredom one day, I decided to count them all. Not including what I couldn’t see behind furniture, there are 120 switches in this apartment. I know I could label them, but I like a challenge…and it’s quite comical watching the two of us flipping this switch and that when we go to bed at night. Humor aside, I’ve often wondered what the wiring looks like between the walls. Especially once I got a look at the wires outside going into two of the AC Units.
And, in case you were wondering. Yes, there are switches for those too.