I have experienced quite a few disasters and emergency situations in my life. Now for the first time also one in the Netherlands. A week ago I was studying at the Highschool Arnhemi Nimwegen. Suddenly there was a power failure. I got a smile on my face, it reminded me of Syria. In the last few years that I lived in Aleppo, there was about 1.5 hours of electricity every day. I bowed my head down again to continue reading in my textbooks. But I was the only one who thought that life went on.
‘What is happening?’ people called. Phones were anxiously kept in the air. “I do not have internet!”, a classmate called. The power was not back after an hour. For some reason everyone wanted to go home. “Papa, you have to pick me up! the trains do not run because of the power failure. I heard students speak in their phones. “Oh no!”, said an other. ‘I have my whole freezer full of meat! Would the insurance compensate?” I shook my head and dived into the books again. A teacher walked past. “You have to go home. The building will close due to the power failure”. I did not understand anything. Can a teacher not even teach without electricity? “It’s about the fire alarm that does not work now,” he explained. Oh yes, forgot. The Dutch always think about what can go wrong. A blazing fire, in the hour and a half that we do not have power. I made my way through the students who told their parents and grandparents by telephone the way to HAN. Everyone had to be picked up. I packed my bike and went home.
On the street I saw two cars collide. The traffic lights did not work without power. Motorists apparently can not do without it, so even on the road it became a chaos. I called my mother in Aleppo and told her about the disaster situation in Arnheim. We laughed together, very hard. You are a superhero mom, I said. She lives without power every day.