41. Plugs

Logic is a key aspect for any society to grow and prosper.  All over the world there are examples of things making sense.  For example, the English Dictionary is full of English words, not Egyptian Hieroglyphs.  Match of the Day is all about football – or soccer to our Trans-Atlantic cousins – and not about gardening.  Mr. Spock was very much into logic and it served him well at work.

Jim, I’m sorry. The guy in the shop said the new warp drive came with a 3-pin plug…this is how many it really had…

On a smaller scale we see logic in the homestead, and I can prove as much.  Now to those of you back home – or anywhere else in the world that isn’t the UAE – I want you to quickly walk around your dwelling and make a note of what plugs are on all of your domestic electrical appliances.  Hairdryers, kettles, toasters, TV’s, phone chargers and so on.  I want you to confirm that the plug on the end of the cable matches that of the socket on the wall…go on take your time, I’ll be right here.

Done?  Good.  If you’re reading in the Un-united Kingdom I assume that all of your appliances had the traditional BS 1363 3-pin plug on the end to slot nicely into your 3-pin socket.  Over there in the New World Colonies you have a smaller version of the 3-pin plug…I bet it fits the one on your wall. And finally, Europeans?  Well if the lunatics in Brussels haven’t turned your power off to help save the Euro I am confident that your 2-pin affairs slot neatly into their matching sockets also.  It’s a tiny detail that we all take for granted, you buy something that requires plugging, and you expect it to fit…here?  Well obviously there’s a problem otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Upon my arrival in 2008 I obviously needed to get myself set up.  I needed things like kettles, DVD players and drills.  My first experience was a bed-side lamp.  I went to the home store and picked the one I liked.  I got home to plug it in but immediately stumbled across a problem.  The socket in my room was British – hurrah – but the plug on the end of my new lamp was clearly European.  Hmmmm…seems an odd thing to sell.

Over the course of time further examples came to the fore, at work I ordered several identical computers all from the same company and to the same specification.  Out of what turned up, 2 had British plugs, 2 had American plugs, 3 of them had European plugs and 1 that was plainly Martian.  I bought a matching TV and DVD set.  The TV has a US plug on it and the DVD came with a European one.  Yet both are Japanese products.  My extension cable looks like something stolen from Space Shuttle Discovery.  Am I going mad or does this annoy you too?  I mean how can you standardise the plug sockets but not the plugs?

Yes you can buy those stupid adapters that have been designed to accommodate every shape and type of plug imaginable.  But nothing stays in because it looks as if a badger with very unsteady hand drunk on Glenfiddich has been let loose with a 14,000rpm drill.  And ultimately it is what it is, a solution to a problem that should never have existed in the first place.

I mean I understand how this problem has come to be.  The UAE doesn’t make anything.  There isn’t really a manufacturing industry, everything is imported.  So when you import a toaster from Detroit it is going to come with an American plug just as if you import a lamp from Athens it is going to come with a Greek plug on it…and a lot of tax.

A while back I read that an effort was to be made to standardise things, and that the British Standard 1363 plug – which has served Blighty and her colonies well since 1947 – is to be adopted as the national plug of the Emirates, so all retailers have to supply you with an adapter.  Codswallop, I am yet to see this.  Plus it means we will have to pay more and in these trying economic times that is not acceptable.  So, for a small gamble I can help you…

Only the other day I purchased a new drill with a Martian plug on it…the solution?  See below.  You may not live long, but you will prosper…

Nah, it will be fi……BOOM

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13 thoughts on “41. Plugs

  1. This is crazy! Are the sockets all the same? It appears that someone is making big money in the adapter business. Maybe adapters are manufactured in the UAE?

  2. Bodacious says:

    Love the Star Trek analogy ….

  3. Alina says:

    Love your blog! I recently moved to Abu Dhabi and it hasn’t been the easiest of transitions… But thankfully, your blog makes me laugh and the highlight of my day is when a new post is up, haha. Everything is SO true, I get to experience it with my own eyes. Just wanted to say thank you and keep it up 😉

    • Thanks Alina! I’m really happy to hear that you like it, and that in just a small way it has helped. Thats the idea! How long have you been in Abu Dhabi?


  4. Alina says:

    Since April 14th… And I am WAY out there in the middle of nowhere, I teach in Sila…. I think you need to pay us a visit and write a post about the end of the road, where E11 fades into Saudi Arabia…

  5. Sila?! My girlfriend was supposed to be posted there but had a lucky “escape”. The furthest i have been down that way is Sir Baniyas Island, just past Ruwais… I can’t say it’s an area I fell in love with! Well I must say well done for toughing it out down there…do you intend to transfer closer to civilisation?

  6. You are a very capable person!

  7. I have been reading out some of your posts and it’s pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

  8. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  9. Tegan Adams says:

    so much good information on here, : D.

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