Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Insert plug A into socket B

As you know, haa, you have forgotten, we are holidaying in Malaysia later this year. Google certainly hasn't forgotten. Mr Google, I have booked our accommodation, so you can stop offering me Penang hotel deals on every which site of yours that I go to.

We were sitting having coffee in QV shopping centre opposite a suitcase and luggage shop. I noticed electric conversion plugs for foreign countries. This started a discussion and I suggested to R that Malaysia would use the same plugs as Singapore, which uses the same as Britain. It turned out I was correct. After coffee we were passing an el cheapo shop and decided to check how much they were. Only $6, so we took two. With phones, camera and laptop needing charging, plus my electric shaver and toothbrush, we need two now.

Back home I decided to look up what the internet said about Malaysia's power supply. I came across a Wikipedia entry that I found quite fascinating. It was a table of power plugs around the world. For a start, Australia is one of very few countries that has only one type of plug and as far as I know, it has never changed. The same plug is used in New Zealand and many of the Pacific Islands, including Samoa, but what about Western Samoa under US influence?

Now work this out. Why would the Australian plug be used in Argentina? Even odder, why would it be used in Tajikistan? There is really no where else that uses an Australian plug. The problem with Argentina is they reverse the wires in their plugs. Positive becomes neutral and vice versa. In my expert opinion as an amateur rewirer, it doesn't make any difference. Please use a licensed electrician and don't take my opinion.

The unified Vietnam does not have unified plugs. The north use the Euro plug and the south the American plug. But in new hotel developments built by Hong Kong or Singapore developers, the English plug is used. I am sure that annoys the ex colonial owners, the French who visit their in ex colony in large numbers.

Could this explain why Aussie plugs are sometimes used in Tajikistan? Did we fund some big development there?

My memory is telling me something about Argentina. Let me check. No, wrong. It was Paraguay. I was thinking of the Australian socialist settlement in South America and it wasn't Argentina. Can't imagine why Argentina would use Australian plugs at all.

R tells me that when he was a kid in England, if you bought an appliance, it came without a plug. You fitted you own plug to suit what ever type of socket you had. His family's clothes iron was plugged into the light socket. Oh, the luxury of an electric iron after using irons that were heated on the stove. (just noticed I have said that before in another post)

When we went to Japan, I had to do a little adapting to the plug converter as the laptop earth plug would not go into the two pinned adapter. As for Malaysia, we should be ok with our converters. I note they have a way of forcing in non compliant Euro plugs into the English sockets there. If you want a bit of a chuckle, Pants explains about English plugs here. Surprising that it went on until the eighties at least.

If you are not familiar with them, this is a good old Aussie plug and socket, well sockets actually. It should be a crime to install a power point that only has a single socket.


  1. I know this wasn't the core focus of your post, but I was always fascinated by the Australian socialist settlement in South America. My family admired those hardy souls enormously.

    I wonder if there is a post to be written *hhmmmm*

  2. A holiday tip for charging all of your gadgets: just buy one plug adapter, and take a standard Australian powerboard along with you.

    If you are like me every you'll have a laptop, camera and mobile phone that all need to be charged overnight once you get back to the hotel.

  3. I knew there was something good about living in the U.S. and not traveling. :)

  4. Please do so Hels for those of us who have forgotten the tale and those who never knew it.

    Marcus, now why didn't I think of that? I did a while ago actually, but I forgot. That's what we will do, thanks.

    Rubye, you have electricity there then? :-P

  5. Andrew, I don't tell you this often enough. Okay, so maybe I've never told you. Regardless, you always make me laugh or show me something new and different. Thanks for being here.

  6. And there should be at least one double powerpoint thingy on each wall! Says me.

    In case you haven't caught up, I've switched to here now:

  7. "It shouold be a crime to install a power point that only has a single socket."
    Yes, I agree. In my opinion it should also be a crime to have only two power points in a kitchen when one of them is inaccessible to any other appliance because it's behind the fridge. in my kitchen, the second power point is also near inaccessible because it's in the corner, (waaaaaay over in the corner) behind the microwave which won't fit anywhere else.
    I hope you have no trouble with the Malaysian plugs.

  8. I like Marcus Wong's idea, it's a really great one and I'll do that if I ever go overseas.
    @Fenstar deLuxe; doubles on every wall in every room, except the kitchen which should have quadruples. I've only ever seen those in magazines.

  9. Marcus is a genius [or, to say much the same thing, why didn't I think of that?].
    One power board is now in my overnight case along with the spare phone charger because, even in Oz there are rarely enough power points in hotel/motel rooms.

    Amusing, stimulating and full of good ideas... what more can one ask of a blog?

  10. Rubye, sweet.

    Fen, correct. If you care to check, I have already updated you in my blog list.

    River, the problem with power point placement is that their positioning and number are decided by straight men. A woman or a gay man would have many more and have them better placed. We have a four in one. There is a post in that.

  11. FC, Marcus stated the bleeding obvious, except to some of us it was not so obvious. You could ask for a well written, composed and on theme blog, but my flibberty gidget method seems to work.

  12. Even as recently as 1992 the electric appliances I bought in Britain (like a kettle) came without a plug - I put mine together with nail scissors and a file!

  13. Anonymous9:42 am

    oh you're awesomely on the ball, thanks :)


  14. And it looks very nice Fen.

  15. Kath, that is quite surprising and very enterprising of you to use tools at hand.

  16. I can't understand why some sockets in hotels are placed at floor level. Inevitably some important technological item has a plug that is akin to a transformer that needs more height from the floor to fit into the socket.

    Actually I can understand, they don't want the punters adding to their electricity bill.

  17. I'm not gay, but if I was designing homes, or at the least kitchens and bathrooms, I'd be putting in far more power points. And extra phone sockets too.

  18. Not just hotels Victor. I seen it in houses built in the 70s and 80s where there have been really low outlets. My father might have even built one or two of them.

  19. River, I did say a woman too. These things cost so little to do when something is being built but future proofs a place.

  20. The plug in Malaysia and Singapore are very big. When we moved back from Singapore, we brought over some appliances and have to use an adaptor.

  21. Ann, my partner's last phone was bought in Singapore. We had to buy a Skippy Plug for it. Well that is what the salesman in Orchard Road said. Malaysia and S'pore use English plugs. They are big and ugly.