Tuesday, 28 July 2009


When I woke up today, I went down to take a shower. I turned on the taps and let the water reach full pressure. I got in after a few minutes and tried to adjust the temperature by turning the hot water tap... and I got shocked! I touched the tap again just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and I got another jolt. Same thing happened when I touched the cold tap. Despite being in my just-woken groggy state, some part of my brain decided to get me out of the water flowing through the ungrounded pipes and onto the floor. I shut off the taps with a loofah and decided to skip the daily shower, you know, in favor of not dying. Then, I decided to shave over the sink and found that both of the taps there had live electricity flowing through them also. Even then the water flowing from the taps stung my hand when I touched it.

At this point, I had no intention of touching any metal or running water in the house. But I did have a scruffy travel beard to get rid of. I managed to shave without touching anything that could rapidly transfer electrons through my flesh, then I shut off the water using the old loofah method.

Now, I'm no union electrician, but this seems like a bit of a big deal. Electricity-charged showers are great for that guy from Crank who has to eat electricity to stay alive, but for the rest of us, it's definitely not fun. I'm going to call the fundi (random handyman) to fix the issue today. If I don't get the shower situation fixed soon, things are going to get unpleasant.


  1. Hey um, you only have 4 days to go before you see me, so can you try not to fry your internal organs between now and then? Thanks.

  2. wow, that's fairly epic. i don't even know how you accomplish the task of electrifying the taps and flowing water, and why it wasn't enough current to totally fry you. maybe the african power generators are on bongo flava time.

    just got to read a bunch of your posts, good shit. i really liked the bit on the rwandan memorial...a bit of an intense experience i'd say.

  3. I was also a bit mystified as to why it happened (and only after the water ran for a few minutes). I'm guessing the circuits somewhere are messed up, and they're conducting electricity to other metal things in the house, but the current isn't so strong when it gets to the taps. I don't really understand the physics, but the effects aren't fun.

    Anyways, look forward to chilling in KS!