I have a special knack for recognizing buildings that would make good funeral homes. It’s true; sometimes I’ll spot a bank or a church or a library and I’ll think to myself, “that building missed its calling – it should have been a funeral home”.
I wasn’t born with this gift; it was definitely a nurture over nature kind of thing. You see, my dad is a funeral director and in addition to a myriad of other unusual things that I learned while growing up the daughter of a mortician, I also learned what kind of buildings would make the best funeral homes. In appearance, the perfect funeral home is serious but not stuffy; elegant but not gaudy; somber but not depressing. It needs to be away from any noisy intersections, have adequate parking and be large enough to be accommodating but not so large as to become impersonal.
And now you know.
That’s the thing about parents’ careers – you wind up knowing a fair amount about them. The same goes for whatever your spouse does for a living. Andy, as you know, is an electrician and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say I could install an outlet without setting a house on fire, I have started noticing things that only an electrician (or one’s spouse) would notice.
This is especially true in other countries. Here are my favorite things about traveling with an electrician (other than the fact that the one I travel with also happens to be charming, handsome and pretty much all around wonderful).
1. He can tell you when something is safe or not…
Most of the showers that I’ve seen in other countries have these sort of electrical water heating devices; the ones pictured are pretty typical. That being said, they can be a little unnerving at first – especially when you can feel the electricity pulsing through the water. But, that’s their system and Andy says for the most part, they’re probably safe – which is good to know.
[edit: Andy wanted me to include a disclaimer that he never said safe… they’re just sort of safe. That is, by many other countries’ standards they are sort of safe; by US standards, they would be quite shocking (ha!) to an inspector.]
2. He has more than common knowledge about power conversions…
I’ll pass on what I’ve been taught. We all know we need outlet converters in other countries. Here’s a chart.
However, lots of times you read that you don’t only need a converter so your hair dryer/phone charger/boom box can plug in, but that you also need a voltage converter so you don’t blow things up. This always used to worry me, that is until Andy told me that many items that are likely to be used in travel have dual voltage capabilities. When in doubt, check the fine print on whatever it is you wish to plug in. For example, here is my camera charger:
Not sure where to find a country’s voltage information? Check here under the ‘electrical potential’ column.
3. He points out things like this…
Which I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
4. And this…
As a matter of fact, sometimes foreign electricity is so noticeable that even Andy’s in-laws think of him. Back in 2008, four years before Andy went to the Philippines, my sister saw this same type of electrical chaos, snapped a picture and had this to say while tagging Andy on Facebook:
5. He makes me giggle when I walk into a hotel room and he’s doing stuff like this…
And then for the thing that isn’t so spectacular:
- When you’re really hungry and looking for a place to grab lunch and the electrician insists on stopping along the way and to check out random electrical things on the street…
And that, my friends, is what it’s like to travel with an electrician. Also, it’s kind of unfair to complain about my last point because while traveling with a travel blogger, Andy has to put up with a lot more than I do. He poses for pictures while carrying heavy groceries in the rain, waits patiently while I take a million pictures of chubby naked people in museums and listens to me go on and on about what would and wouldn’t make an entertaining post. Still, he has gotten more than a few of those posts dedicated to his awesomeness so I guess that’s a good trade-off. 🙂