It's been a crazy week here in Buenos Aires. Although summer isn't due to officially begin until this coming Friday, December 22nd, it started getting horribly hot again last week. Actually this past winter and spring have been strange with some really warm days in winter and some really up and down temperatures in spring.
This past Saturday the "st" temperature or sensacion termica was 40.5 celsius in the Capital. That would be around 104.9 in fahrenheit. Ridiculously hot and heavy and major draws on electricity, which here in Buenos Aires, means temporary shutoffs of electricity in various barrios to conserve power.
So on Saturday night, a cool front came through, merged with the hot air, and created some pretty impressive storms. I can only compare them to the tropical storms we would get in Miami and from what I understand it's pretty unusual at this time of year. But then again this is a year that has seen tornados and several storms with hail as big as golf balls. So go figure. I keep saying that we brought Miami's weather with us when we came here.
Saturday night's storm had really heavy winds, our neighborhood was full of fallen tree limbs, smaller branches, and leaves littering the streets. Plants in our backyard were blown over and even some of the outside chairs, so you can just imagine how strong the winds were. The lightning in the initial part of the storm was lime green and acid yellow, showing just how strong and bizarre this storm was. And, of course, the rain which came down in bucketfuls, including right into a one of the hallways of our cool, but old house. Something about pushing water out the door at 2 am is just not fun and definately reminded me of Miami's nasty downpours.
After all the crazy weather Saturday night, Sunday was considerably cooler, and only started to warm up slightly on Monday. So it was with great surprise that as we were sitting working at our computers, all of a sudden the music shut off, the internet connection died, and the neighborhood became remarkably quiet. We had no power it seemed. First thought, gee did I forget to pay the bill. But no, that wasn't the problem. We called a friend who was out and about in San Isidro and he confirmed that there was in fact no electricity. I wanted to know why. Oh, well it's summer and even though this is a privatized electric company, they can't keep up with the demand and routinely shut off power to different neighborhoods for several hours. He said that in Martinez where he lived, he had been without power for about 6 hours just the week before, warning, "get used to it because it won't be the last time." And this was all on a cooler day!
I know there are issues here with the electricity, and it's no wonder. Just today, one day after, our electric bill showed up. It was a whopping 16.80 pesos. Now we aren't major energy hogs even though we work from home, but we have been using the AC units more often lately and I wasn't expecting the equivalent of like 6.00 dollars. In Miami we could expect bills of 150 to 200 dollars in the summer months. Even if it were higher it still wouldn't be expected to go above maybe 70 or 80 pesos. So although we aren't paying much for electricity, we also never can know now whether we'll HAVE electricity. Just one of the tradeoffs of living here I guess.
Of course for a pregnant woman in her last week or two, not having AC is not a fun thing to look forward to. I'm just happy that our baby will be here just as summer starts!