For the Love of Toast

We have British outlets and plugs here in Malawi, leftovers from the days when Malawi/Nyasaland was a British Protectorate country. They're big and chunky, but generally work well.

The tricky part is that we live closer to South Africa than England, so most electronics come to Malawi with South African plugs: two round prongs instead of three rectangles. They fit, but it takes a little work. You have to use a small object, say a key, to depress the safety button in the top hole so that the bottom two holes will open for the South African plug to go in the outlet.

Don't let your children see this picture! Yes, I'm putting my keys in the outlet! But it's ok. The outlets here are switched, as in the red button next to my finger can switch the outlet off and on. And the hole my key is in is the ground, so there's no power going to that hole anyway, even if the outlet is switched on. Honestly, it took me a couple years before I was willing to do this with keys – I would always run and find a chopstick… just in case!

So with all the issues with South African plugs in British outlets, we really like it when we can get a good appliance that has a British plug. For instance, a toaster. We have had an American toaster oven for years. I love it. But, we do have to run it on a transformer here, and it only toasts 2 pieces of bread at a time. That's ok until you have more than 2 people in your toast-loving family. Enter the British toaster.

Isn't she a beauty? Well, she is to me! When I was getting ready to go to England in May to hike Hadrian's Wall, Matt and I realized that this was our chance to get appliances with British plugs – from England! So Matt bought this beautiful red toaster, and a new hair dryer, on Amazon UK and sent them to a "parcel pick-up" (American: locker) location. After the hike, I found the parcel pick-up location near Kings Cross Station, tossed my new toaster and hairdryer in a duffel bag, and took the Underground to Heathrow to fly home.

This pic was proof to my family that I had the toaster and was on my way home. And the extra effort has been worth it. Did I mention that we are a toast-loving family?!

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