Sunday, May 26, 2013

Adapting to, Well, Adapters

"Electricity is really just
organized lightning."
~ George Carlin

"#*!@•¶¢  #&©∆∂ ¢£•ª¶¶ (Insert choice four-letter words there.)"  I was, to say the least, a bit frustrated with trying to get my adapters (The big beige on and two small black ones above) to fit in the outlets both in Spoleto and Sulmona. "&#∂∂ƒ ≈ßß≥."

Let me start at the beginning.  We've been to Europe a few times and have never had a problem with our adapters fitting any electrical outlets. Then we hit Spoleto, and nothing we had seemed to fit into the outlets there. (They looked similar to the outlet in the photo below which I took in Sulmona today.)

Laurie, our host in Spoleto, gave us a couple of different adapters into which we plugged our own adapters before we plugged anything into the wall.  Confused?  Just wait.

"Don't use the oven and the washer at the same time," Laurie advised us as he handed the adapters to us.  "And, when you use the hairdryer, you shouldn't use the microwave.  Actually, don't use the microwave and washer or microwave and oven at the same time, either.  You'll blow the electicity in the whole building."  He must have seen the shock on my face because he continued.  "It's like this all over Italy, you know."

No, I didn't know, but I didn't say anything.  Having stayed in apartments in Italy before, we had problems with neither our adapters nor the electricity. Far be it from us to want to blow the building's circuitry, though, so we unplugged and moved things around when we used more than one appliance.

"This is a PAIN," I yelled one morning while doing my hair.  Because of the plug situation, I had to plug my curling iron into that huge adapter in the first photo, plug that into the European power strip (below), plug the power strip plug into an Italian adapter, and then plug all of that into the wall.  (I know. It's confusing and crazy.) Ahd, because of adapter that I had to use, I could use only one outlet in the apartment to do my hair, and it was not near a mirror.  I ended up using the reverse camera on my iPad to try to do my hair, and that was not easy since I have a over over the screen, and that includes the lens.  (Take a gander at the last photo in this post.)

Throughout the entire Spoleto stay, we never could get the iron nor the old — or new — hairdryer to work correctly.(Keep in mind these had Italian plugs which, interestingly, looked like our adapters but actually fit the outlets.)  The iron would heat a bit and go off.  The first hairdryer weakly blew cold air. The second one blew warm air for a few days and than gave way to cold.

I was actually glad to be leaving Spoleto for that very reason.  We'd been to Sulmona eore and never had a problem with our adapters.  Famous last thoughts.  As soon as we got here, we encountered similar problems.  W couldn't plug in the power strip, Mike's adapter, my adapters, or the apartment's toaster.  Peppe quickly gave us two adapters (below) to use, and we shuffled them around as we had done in Spoleto.  (Luckily, there was an outlet near the mirror in the bathroom, so I didn't have to use my iPad.)

The first morning we were here, I washed my hair and took out the apartment hairdryer.  It plugged right into the outlet.  Praise heaven!  I turned it on, and it weakly, weakly, weakly emitted a bit of hot air. A few times, it sped up for about 30 seconds, and a few times, it just shut off. Everyday that week and until Tuesday of this past week, I used the hairdryer that was on its last legs.

I took out the iron on Monday to use it for the first time since we arrived, and the iron's prongs were plugged into one of the adapters.

"Holy crap," I said to Mike.  "Maybe I need to use an adapter with the hairdryer."  BINGO.  I took the adapter from the iron, put it on the hairdryer, and actually had dry hair in about two minutes.

This whole thing is quite confusing.  The space between the prongs on our adapters is  the same as the width between the two outside prongs on the adapter on the left below. It fits into the outlets, but ours do not.  By the way, note the width between the prongs of both adapters and the size of the adapter on the right in both the photo below and the photo of the two above (two photos up).

So, I give up. It's a good thing we'll be home in a few days.

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