What I Did On My Day Off

Let’s assume for the sake of argument electricity was invented in the U.S.  And let’s assume it was in the U.S. electricity was first used in homes or businesses.  From there, again assuming, electricity took off around the world as country after country lit up (except for North Korea). Why then, are there so many different plugs and sockets? In case you don’t know how many, there are fifteen.

My MagSafe2 85w Apple power adapter had an electrical breakdown.  It was four years old and subject to a lot of abuse over those years: plugged, unplugged, dragged, pulled, yanked, in the backpack, out of the backpack.  It was worn and had no spark left.

There are no Apple retailers in Cambodia.  I asked. The girl at the café told me there weren’t but there were iOne stores.  Three of them.  I searched for iOne in my Waze app and the nice lady’s voice inside my phone told me it was only a mile away.  Still using my Waze app, I walked.  Not a leisurely walk, like the kind I take with my wife several times a week and am longing for right now. This was more of a frantic, treacherous one. An adventurous walk, where you try not to get killed by a truck, car, moto, or even a rouge bicycle (a dog even barked at me and I was startled), but enjoyable.  I found the iOne store in less than 20 minutes. They are on the third floor.

The elevator door opened to a nice a/c cooled store that looked a lot like an Apple store’s little sister.  It was bright, clean, well stocked, and the employees were standing ready to greet me.  I showed the girl my old adapter and she directed me to the shelf where the new ones were located.  Another girl took it off the shelf for me (great service).  I told them “That is what I need, thank you.”  The first girl turned the box over and pointed to the plug type.  Darn it!  It was type G. I need type B.  You know, the normal three prong kind. The one invented by Edison himself?  I told her thank you and left without it and walked a mile back to my hotel.  I needed to get steps in.

A few hours later, I was eating lunch and a light came on.  Me thinking: I can buy a U.S. adapter for it! When I took my old plug to foreign countries I used an adapter, I’ll just do the opposite.  I’ll pretend I live in Cambodia and will be travelling to the U.S. soon.  I’ll get a type B adapter for my type G plug.

Problem solved, I hired a tuk-tuk this time for the two mile round trip.  Using my Waze app I directed the driver to the iOne store.  This time I took the stairs.  The first time the elevator was super slow.

When I walked into the store the girl greeted me like she knew me and was my long-lost friend.  She also read my mind.  She went right to the shelf, grabbed the box and handed it to me.  I proclaimed to her I was going to get an adapter back in the United States.  Me thinking again:  She probably considers me very smart man to have figured that out! She didn’t fully understand, but she shook her head like she thought I was marvelous. Then I looked at the price and was snapped back to reality.

I was shocked to see it was $30 more than what I could buy if for on Amazon, back home. But, I needed it now so I gave in to the shakedown and paid the man.  Three employees were standing around as I made the purchase (there is no privacy in Cambodia).  As my credit card was being run, I explained how I could get this for $30 less in the United States.  Now I read their minds…stupid American!  

I am in my room now and because you are reading this, it worked.  The cable is not hot and my computer is still cool, so apparantly it is the correct plug.  I have a lot of work to do so it’s time to charge ahead.  If anyone has the answer to the question raised in the first paragraph, I would be indebted.

IMG_0286
My new 85W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
IMG_0287
The old one with wires exposed. In Cambodia this looks normal.
IMG_0288
This is where the actual problem was.

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