Sunday, October 26, 2008
reddy kilowatt is in charge
On my last day in La Manzanilla last December, I was walking around the village to get a better idea if I wanted to move there. (If you look at my December posts, you can see I came very close to buying a house there.)
Something caught my eye, and I looked up to see this geometric masterpiece. I was originally entranced with the radiating shapes. [Click on the photograph for better detail.] But a mere moment passed before I saw the metaphor.
No Canadian or American engineer would ever design an electrical system like this. A quick glance shows how disorganized the lines are and how difficult it would be to get the system running again in the event the pole failed structurally. Having no electrical expertise, I will offer no opinion on how the connections are made within the grid.
Instead, we NOBers would have poles and lines marching in military precision down the dusty lanes of La Manzanilla.
But here is the problem with that analogy. This is Mexico. The arrangement on the pole works. And it is art to be appreciated for its own sake. If the pole fails, it will be erected just as the current pole was.
I talked with an electrical utility worker in Melaque this summer and showed him the photograph. His response was spot on: "You Gringos worry about the strangest things. What if ... ? What if ...? Try having fun."
Could the electrical system in Mexico be better? Of course. Is my writing and worrying about it going to make it better? Of course not.
Instead, I will enjoy it for what I first saw it as: a great geometrical form. And the opportunity for another tale.