I’m in the house in the mountains, and I mention to a friend of mine that we have had electricity for over 48 hours now (yes, electricity is a topic of conversation in this place). That’s a bit of a record; we usually don’t get more than 8 hours a day in the village we are in.
“Oh, the guy that cuts the electricity is probably on a holiday.”
I tell her that I seriously doubt that this is the case. I mean, we have issues in Lebanon, but we’re not THAT underdeveloped.
And she tells me a story how two years ago, after an enormous storm, a tree next to her house fell into the electricity line on a Friday night, and the power in her house got cut. It was cold, and dark, and rainy, but when she calls the electricity company, they tell her, since it is her house alone and not the entire neighborhood, and there is a religious holiday, that they will not send anyone until Tuesday.
She calls the guy that runs the neighborhood generator, and asks him to turn on the generator.
“No Madam, you are the only one in the neighborhood, everyone else has electricity, so we cannot run the generator for you alone.”
Three days in the dark, no heater, and without hot showers? She calls the electricity company again, and she explains her dire circumstances. She’s got little babies, and it is really very very cold and . . .”
“Tayeb tayeb (okay, okay),” replies the guy, “I’ll see what I can do. “
Five minutes later, the power in the entire neighborhood is cut off, and the neighborhood generator is turned on.
The electricity company calls her: “Is this better? I’ll try and keep it this way until Tuesday.”
Now that’s what we call service.