yesterday, there was a power cut in our neighborhood from 11 am until 7:15 pm - i was home in the afternoon awaiting the power to be back, then when it became dark i started to get worried as i wasn't equipped for a night without electricity - so i lit a candle, sat on the couch, and suddenly the horrible memories of war came back haunting me.
back in the 70s, 80s and the 90s, beirut had witnessed waves of civil wars and we used to spend days without electricity - but we always found ways for alternative energy - there was these small power generators that you could buy and basically put on your balcony, they would supply your home with electricity for a few hours, but their sound would drive you mad!
another creative idea was the recycled car battery! we used to build small wooden boxes, put the battery in and at the back, attach a long piece of wood to support a fluorescent lamp - you assemble the wires and get light for a few hours until you recharge the batteries once the power is back.
when the power gets cut for a number of days, you're basically left with camping gas lamps - gas lamps came in different forms and shapes, but the ones that were available at the time used to give this horrible horrible sound, and of course a bad smell.
but during the most difficult days where we couldn't even go out to get gas for the lamps, we used to stay up all night on candle lights - nothing more serene or peaceful, and yesterday, that was all i got!