Certainly not me!
I entered the Tigard Fred Meyer store with no idea that a new era had begun!
Earlier in the day, one of my parents’ light bulbs had burned out. Digging through my parents’ stash of extra light bulbs, I found no similar replacement for the twisted compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) that had met its demise.
Desiring to be of service to my parents, I thought, “I’ll go to the store and pick up a replacement. No problem.”
However, when I reached the aisle of light bulbs of various sizes, various light intensities, and more light bulb information than my I’m-not-in-South-Africa-anymore brain could handle, I became paralyzed.
Where was the replacement bulb?
As I scanned the hundreds of light bulbs, it was apparent that there were no compact fluorescent bulbs on any of these shelves.
This was supposed to be a simple fetch and run exercise for me. Instead, I was staring down hundreds of light bulbs that extinguished every little bit of shopping confidence I had had when I set out to replace one stinkin’ light bulb!
My dejected and confused disposition attracted attention. A Fred Meyer employee approached me and asked if he could assist me.
I shared my dilemma of trying to secure a CFL.
The man shook his head.
He said that my efforts were for naught. Apparently, Fred Meyer stopped selling CFL light bulbs over six months ago. In fact, he said, General Electric began phasing fluorescent light bulbs out in favor of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs two years ago. They stopped manufacturing CFLs altogether soon thereafter.
I had no idea.
I’ve been out of the country for more than two years and in that time a new light bulb era had begun!
My Fred Meyer friend took pity on me and helped me make sense of all of this light bulb business. He assured me that selecting a light bulb can be an overwhelming proposition!
In time, I selected and purchased a set of light bulbs for my parents’ light fixture and escaped the store in one piece.
Once back at my parents’ home, I installed the light bulb in the fixture base and then replaced the globe light fixture. I did it all by myself. My confidence made a tentative comeback.
Friends, I never know what kind of surprise lessons I am going to have when I return to the United States after being out of the country for a lengthy period of time. Certainly, I didn’t anticipate having a lesson in light bulb education. But, I did.
When I return to South Africa, will I find CFLs? Well, if I go to any Builder’s Warehouse in Johannesburg, I can assure you, I will. These bulbs are still on the South Africa market – at least for now.
The new era in light bulbs hasn’t reached the African continent quite yet.
Having one foot in the United States and one foot in South Africa truly keeps me on my toes as I determine what the norms are for each world! It can be discombobulating.
However, it can be fun, too.
I wonder what I will discover next?