Living like a native. Hardcore !

I have a confession to make. I am an AC junkie. I have used it every night since February 2007 from 7pm until 7am – even when in those days I could not afford to scratch myself. Cambodia’s heat is insane at times and the whole ” I get by on $10 a month power” is for grimy little English teachers and University lecturers who drink every night at hostess bars and got to bed so pissed they could be in Iceland for all they know. At any rate, in my first apartment my power was about $50 a month. The second apartment in Toul Sleng cost about $60-70, the Compound was about $85 and I have just done a calculation on my first month in our new house. Er…ahem…..I think it’s about $230 ! WTF ! So I rang Rob ( the last person who rented the house) and he said he hardly ever used his AC but his bill was still around $200 a month. He ran overhead ceiling fans and lights, a big fridge etc but NO ac. He also said that the AC unit in our bedroom is 50% bigger than the 1hp unit we had at the compound. This should put our bill at $120. AND we have had the family stay over in both rooms a few times in our first month and they seem to all of a sudden taken a shine to AC so there goes a few more $$. Still……whilst our lot in life has improved steadily, I do not want to be blowing money left right and centre so……

Sports stars sweat

The first thing I did was remove AC controls from the spare rooms and kill the switched for those units at the switchboard. Very happy to have the family over but they can use fans. Secondly and most dramatically….I suggested to Leakhana we try sleeping without…gasp….horror…..our beloved AC. Almost unthinkable I know but hell…..just like a ” Holy Shit I live in Cambodia ! ” reality show, we thought we would give it a go. I wasn’t looking forward to it I can tell you. I decided the best strategy was to ease into it so I cooled the room down for a couple of hours to give us the strategic advantage before we entered the combat zone. Bottles of cold water were placed by the side of the bed, a final cold shower was had , the AC was killed and in we went.

Models sweat

The result ? Well…..I went to sleep easily enough. The swoosh swoosh of the overhead fan lulled me to sleep and it was still cool from the preparatory AC burst. I usually wake up several times a night anyways unless drunk out of my head or bombed on Valium ( a necessity here sometimes trust me) and last night was no different. It got a bit hot around 1am so I capitulated and turned the AC on for another hour or so but after that I slept like a baby until 7.30am this morning. Interestingly, Grace slept right through the night and did not wake up once. She moved around a fair bit so I checked her a couple of times in case she was sweltering in a sodden mess but she was fine. Leakhana also slept soundly.

So…. they say it takes 21 days to make/ break a habit. Being the hottest month of the year it’s not a great time to start but if we can stick it will be interesting to see what the difference in the power bill is. Stay tuned………

Even porn stars sweat !

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5 Responses to Living like a native. Hardcore !

  1. goyzer says:

    I give you absolutely no chance whatsover, NONE.
    Pay up and look big…….!!

    ha ha

  2. SunSan says:

    The ceiling fans are the culprits. Ask any Cambodian. They use nearly as much electricity as a 1 kw air con. Close those down completely, get standing fans or the ones Khmer restaurants have that are fitted to the walls.

    Then you can happily go back to using AC at night.

    • I am told they cost about .20c a minute. Subsequsntly also found out that my water pump on the roof has a busted valve and was running 24/7 = huge power drain. Will revert to stand up fans and report back. See you tonight.

  3. LaudJohn says:

    Going hot turkey in the hotest month? You are craizer than I thought. I used to cool the room down with the AC for an hour, go to bed and use a floor fan during the night, which kept us cool.. cost about $30p/m for power .. in fact the breeze from the fan almost made me too cold .. you are right if it gets hot turn the a/c on for an hour with the timer. It sucks being poor and a penny pincher in PP!

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