In an effort to save electricity and money, quite a lot of hotel around the world have a little contraption inside the room close to the door, into which one inserts one's room key card to turn on the electricity in the room.
I, being the lazy type, like to keep my key card in my pocket. I being the crazy inventor and tinker type, also keep coming up with ways to make that possible.
So I inserted a Translink transfer (bus ticket) into the slot together with the key card and then withdrew the key card. Lo and behold: It works.
This morning, Hans complains that the TV doesn't work anymore. I blame it on empty batteries in the remote control
Then I close a desk drawer while the charging cable of my laptop extends into the drawer. A minute later, I realize that my charger no longer works ! OH NO. Where in Mexico will I find a new SONY laptop charger? I try the charger in all 2 available outlets in the room and it seems to be kaputt ;-(
Felipe, the most friendly of the Lobby Boys, directs me toward a mall only 5 minutes walking distance away. And indeed I find an original re-built SONY charger for 450 Pesos (~CDN 38). But I also have to buy an adapter to go from a 3-prong plug to a 2-prong plug, which is all that is available in the room.
I return to the room. The 3-to-2-prong adapter is welded into plastic. I can't open it without scissors. I'm stuck I have an idea. Since the room lights are working, it can't really be my ingenious invention with the card-switch-device that is at fault for no power out the outlets, or could it be my ingenious invention after ?
I decide to test it with the blow dryer in the bathroom. Even though the lights are on, the blow dryer (using an outlet) is not working. OH NO !!! I remove the paper bus ticket and insert my key card. The blow dryer works again. OH NO !!!! And so does the laptop charger !!!
I feel simultaneously STUPID for having missed this and INGENIOUS for having fixed the TV, the blow-drier, and my laptop charger problem in one step. And I have a spare laptop charger now.
Who could have thought that the key card switch is a two-stage switch that allows the room lights to remain on but kills the power to the electrical outlets??