In case of a Zombie Apocalypse (or any Apocalypse, for that matter) Portugal, I'm afraid, would go down pretty fast.
This Saturday dawn a great part of the country was in Red Alert. Violent winds swept everything on their way. Still, I would call it a mini-storm, compared to what has been happening around the globe. But still, and as a result, my village had no electricity for 3 consecutive days! My grandparents, who are over 80, can't recall having ever been without electricity for so long. Even today (5 days later) there are still parts of the country without electricity.
The positive thing, is that I had the opportunity to experience life without all the commodities that electricity brings, and reflect a little bit about it.
What have I learned?
1 - Humans invented all kinds of things to feel less lonely and frightened. Electricity is one of them. Something as simple as artificial light creates a great sense of company and security. TV, computers, cell phones, even more. At night and without light, my house seemed bigger and scary. I'm generally a lone wolf but in the last few evenings all I wanted was to be in the main room with everybody else!
2 - When all these created things fail, we have other humans to make us feel less lonely and frightened. That's why in the last evenings my family wasn't all scattered around the house and was, instead, gathered in the kitchen around the Petromax light. Even after dinner, I brought my Math books to study at the kitchen table. No one would consider the possibility to take a candle to a room, and be there, alone, without a laptop/tv/cellphone for company!
3 - Humans also invented all kind of things to be easily entertained. Without these things, humans have to creatively entertain themselves. In these 3 days my sister read, drew and went through old picture albums. I studied a lot of Math and prepared the tutoring lessons. I also read much more than I usually do and played Dicciopinta with my sister. It's supposed to be a 3 or more players game, but we managed to have a lot of fun just the two of us!
4 - Without electricity we are much more aware of the day lighting. It becomes precious. And because I generally go to bed late, and wake up late, days felt too short. If I had to continue living without electricity, I would have to change my sleeping habits!
Summing it all up... I was forced to experience "total-unplug", and I found out that we rely a lot on 'artificial' strategies to feel less lonely and frightened and to be entertained. Not that I wish to continue living without electricity - but it was important for me to realize that true and meaningful company comes from the presence of other human beings and that entertainment has perhaps become too easily accessible - which tends to atrophy creativity.
Now I'll be sure to unplug regularly - even if for just a few hours. And you, have you been forced to unplug lately? Do you willingly do it regularly?
See you soon :)