3 bizarre-but-totally-necessary electronic devices

These past couple of weeks have been busy. I’ve been redesigning our company website, planning a Thailand backpacking trip, and I even modeled for a summer trunk show fashion event. (fun!)

Just like back home, the days tend to fly by. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for three months already. Obviously, living abroad changes your life in a big way; but there’s been some subtle changes too. Like I said in my first post, I’m working on finding my new normal – which includes getting used to scenes like this:

(note the jumbled mess of electrical wiring)

When you walk by these poles you can hear buzzing and hissing sounds. Scary? A little.

Welcome to my “new normal” – power surges and brownouts. (That’s what they’re called here – not blackouts)


This brings me to bizarre -but-totally-necessary-electronic-device #1:

The Voltage Regulator.

Back in the US, many of our electronics are 110V – here, they are 220V. Plug a 110V device into the wall here, and consider it fried. Yes, I’ve learned the hard way.

This 1970’s-looking-box is a voltage regulator. I can plug any device into it, no matter its voltage, and I’m good to go. Like its name suggests, it maintains a constant voltage level –  so my beloved iMac can survive any power surge.

Something I miss about the US, is that all electronic devices fit into all wall outlets.

Not here. Ever try plugging a rectangular plug into a circular outlet? Yeah, it doesn’t work. Especially when your plug has three prongs and the outlet only has two!

Enter: bizarre -but-totally-necessary-electronic-device #2:

The Multi-Plug Adapter.

All four of these plugs fit into this adapter…and there are other shapes that fit too. I literally carry one of these things in my purse, right alongside my lip gloss.


With summer heat at its peak  (it’s been in the 90’s this week) the mosquitoes are showing up in droves. And here, some mosquitoes can bring along dengue fever, malaria, and other delightful diseases.

So, you’ve got to protect yourself.

Say hello to bizarre -but-totally-necessary-electronic-device#3:

The bug zapper!

This bug zapper features a bright UV light that lures mosquitoes into a grid of high-voltage wiring. It kills bugs instantly, while delivering a satisfying *pop*.

Go to any backyard party, and you’ll see a couple of these boxes sitting around. When I first got here, that popping would take me by surprise. I’d jump at the sound, while nobody else even flinched.

Now, it’s just background noise. A familiar soundtrack to a hot night, filled with cold beer, and good company. Once again – new normal.

So that sums up my list of 3 bizarre -but-totally-necessary-electronic-devices. It’s funny, just a few months ago I hadn’t heard of these, and nowadays I can’t go a day without them.

What about you? Have you come across anything like these in your travels? Please share!

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3 responses to “3 bizarre-but-totally-necessary electronic devices

  1. Hi Liana,

    I am moving to Manila in July and was wondering if you can find the voltage regulator in the Philippines or if you brought it with you from the states.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Randee you can find them everywhere here. Mostly at hardware stores. Very easy to find and not expensive. The one pictured in this post is about $20. Happy to help with any other questions related to your move!

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