June 02, 2008

110 to 220, and +1...
There were two rather big changes this weekend in my Dar. I woke up on Friday morning, and the power was off. Apparently someone in the city has decided to change parts of the city from 110 voltage (like in North America) to 220V (like in Europe and Asia). Some of Morocco runs on 110V, and some parts run on 220V. So the power was cut while the current was switched to our neighbourhood in the medina. That of course also means that all the lightbulbs had to be switched too! There are very few electrical appliances in the home, as most cooking/heating equipment runs on gas, so it wasn't too big a problem (though the TV did have a minor problem).
I was watching the French new on Friday night, and Morocco is trying daylight savings this year. Apparently they tried it a few years ago, but gave up. So this Sunday we skipped an hour ahead. While in most Western countries we don't think much of this because it's fairly routine, it created a wee bit of confusion here. There were interviews on the news with a few imams (Islamic religious leaders) explaining that the prayer schedule won't change except to add an hour (the Islamic call to prayer is based on the position of the sun). Ther were interviews with professionals explaining why it's important to have daylight savings, how it would help modernize the country, and how much money other countries have saved by using this system.
Note: Even almost two weeks after the time change, I've still heard people refer to 'old' and 'new' time.

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